Larry Vaught

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Benny Snell on “another level of happiness”

Kentucky running back Benny Snell with fans at the KSBar & Grill. (Matt Walter Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Junior running back Benny Snell might not be as highly regarded in NFL mock drafts as teammate Josh Allen — the consensus national defensive player of the year — but Snell became the face of the UK football program with his outgoing personality and ability to close out games like he did for the Cats in the Citrus Bowl victory over Penn State.

Brucel Pearl on Kentucky: “They’re better than last year’s team.”

Bruce Pearl said his team couldn’t stop Keldon Johnson, right, and Tyler Herro. (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Auburn coach Bruce Pearl admitted he was “disappointed” with his team’s 82-80 home loss to Kentucky Saturday, especially with the “great environment” at Auburn Arena for the Southeastern Conference showdown between top 15 teams.

Kentucky built a 17-point lead early in the second half before Auburn came charging back to take the lead with less than a minute to play.

“It had a lot with us staying engaged. I thought the kids didn’t panic. We got down in the second half and took it one possession at a time,” Pearl said.

Kentucky-Auburn postgame notes, numbers

Tyler Herro had 20 points Saturday. (Vicky Graff Photo)

UK MEN’S BASKETBALL POSTGAME NOTES

KENTUCKY at AUBURN

AUBURN ARENA | AUBURN, ALA.

JAN. 19, 2019
ATTENDANCE: 9,121

Final Score: No. 12/14 Kentucky 82, No. 14/12 Auburn 80                                                    

Team Records and Series Notes

  • Kentucky moved to 14-3 overall, 4-1 in the Southeastern Conference. Auburn is now 13-4, 2-2 in the SEC.
  • UK leads the series 93-19, including 31-15 in games played in Auburn, Alabama.
  • Today’s meeting was the eighth time that featured both Auburn and Kentucky ranked at the same time. UK is now 7-1 in those games.

Kentucky holds on to win 82-80 at Auburn

Keldon Johnson had 20 points against Auburn. (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Kentucky freshmen Keldon Johnson and Tyler Herro both had 20 points to help UK win 82-80 at Auburn Saturday despite getting outscored by 21 points from 3-point range.

“Just a great road win for this young Kentucky team that it can really build on,” said UK Radio Network analyst Tony Delk, a former UK All-American. “To silence this crowd at times was very impressive.”

Kentucky Excite Night Photo Gallery by Vicky Graff

Numbers favor Auburn by one point

PJ Washington (Vicky Graff Photo)

By RICHARD CHEEKS, Contributing Writer

On Tuesday night, the Cats level of play returned to the impressive levels of performance they had demonstrated in late December when the Cats beat a strong UNC team, and left the YUM center with an impressive win over Louisville. Any SEC road win by 20 points is noteworthy. However, to be fair, this Georgia group is one of the weaker teams in the SEC this season. On Saturday, the Cats venture to Auburn, Alabama to face the #10 Auburn Tigers.

ESPN College GameDay will be at Rupp Arena for UK-Kansas

LEXINGTON, Ky. – With the Kansas-Kentucky game as its backdrop, ESPN College GameDay will be at Rupp Arena on Jan. 26.

Admission will be free and fans are encouraged to attend the event. Seats for the show will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Gates will open at 9 a.m. with the live show starting at 11 a.m. Other segments from the crew for other ESPN shows will be taped prior to 11.

ESPN made the announcement Saturday during its first GameDay stop of the year at Duke. It’s the third straight season College GameDay will feature the Wildcats on their home floor.

Calipari on Keldon Johnson: “He’ll be fine.”

Keldon Johnson (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

For the first time this season, Keldon Johnson failed to score Tuesday when Kentucky still won at Georgia by 20 points.

Does that worry Kentucky coach John Calipari going into Saturday afternoon’s game at Auburn?

“He’ll be fine. He’ll be fine,” Calipari said Friday. “Teams are collapsing on him. So we’re saying, you gotta find people. Well, yeah, but you gotta score. That’s what you do for us. So, yeah, you’ve got to see people. ‘But Coach, you’re telling me to score and see people if they collapse?’ ‘Yeah. That’s how you play the game. You take what they give you.’

Kentucky signee Emma King helps Lincoln County beat No. 1 Scott County

Kentucky signee Emma King talks with UK assistant coach Kyra Elzy after scoring 22 points in a win over No. 1 Scott County. (Larry Vaught/Verizon Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

GEORGETOWN — It was not Kentucky signee Emma King’s best offensive game at Lincoln County, but it might have been one of her more memorable performances, especially with Kentucky assistant coach Kyra Elzy watching.

Lincoln County knocked off previously unbeaten Scott County 79-69 Friday night in the Toyota Classic here. Scott came into the game 18-0 and ranked No.1 in the state. Lincoln, now 15-2, was ranked No. 7 and coming off a win Thursday here over George Rogers Clark, another top 15 team.

Kentucky knows it must limit 3’s against Auburn

Tyler Herro (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Freshman Tyler Herro has already heard plenty about what the atmosphere is going to be like at Auburn Saturday afternoon.

“They said it’s going to be loud. We’ve had a few road environments so far, so I think just adapting to it early and I think we’ll all be fine,” Herro said.

Auburn has beat Kentucky the last two times it has hosted the Wildcats and Herro knows the Tigers certainly have the talent to do that again. Auburn is a 4 1/2 point favorite going into the game.