Kentucky defeated Louisville 90-61 in Rupp Arena.

Highlights from UK Sports Video

Game notes 

From UK Athletics

Final Score: #16/15 KENTUCKY 90, LOUISVILLE 61

Team Records and Series Notes

  • Kentucky improves to 10-2 on the season, while Louisville falls to 10-3.
  • The Wildcats lead the all-time series 35-16, including a 19-5 mark in games played in Lexington.
  • Kentucky’s next game will be against Georgia in Rupp Arena on Sunday to open Southeastern Conference play. Game time is 6 p.m. ET and it will be televised on ESPN. The game is part of a doubleheader with Kentucky women’s basketball, which will be hosting No. 7 Tennessee at noon ET on SEC Network.
  • A season-high 24,228 fans were in Rupp Arena on Sunday.

In the First Half

  • Kentucky’s starting lineup featured Quade Green, Hamidou Diallo, PJ Washington, Kevin Knox and Nick Richards for the 10th time. That lineup has an 8-2 record.
  • Diallo scored the first points of the game for either side. After UK won the tip, Diallo drove the baseline for a dunk. The dunk was followed by a Green 3-pointer as the Wildcats started the game on a 5-0 run.
  • Louisville grabbed its first lead of the game at 7-5 with 17:00 left in the first half as part of an 11-0 run that was broke when Shai Gilgeous-Alexander hit a 3 with 14:51 left in the first half. UK went 3:50 without a point during UL’s 11-0 run.
    • Alexander’s 3 started an 8-0 UK run to put the Wildcats back on top.
  • Kentucky took control of the game late in the first half thanks to a 12-0 run where UL went scoreless for 5:59.
    • The run ended on a pair of free throws from Ryan McMahon.
    • Louisville went without a field goal for 6:39 in the first half from 8:04 to 1:25 mostly during UK’s 11-0 run.
    • The Cards hit just one of their last 12 field goal attempts in the first half.
    • Conversely, the Wildcats hit five consecutive field goal attempts to end the first half.
  • Overall, the Wildcats ended the first half on a 25-8 run to take a 41-27 lead into the break at halftime.

In the Second Half

  • Kentucky started the second half with the ball and Green hit a long 2 from the top of the key to give the Wildcats a 16-point lead early in the second half.
  • Both teams started hot from the field in the second half hitting their first three field-goal tries.
  • Louisville hit its second 3-pointer in the game with 12:42 to go in the second half. That was the Cards first made 3 since 18:06 in the first half.
  • Kentucky outscored UL 49-34 in the second half thanks to a strong performance on both ends of the court.
    • UK shot 56.7 percent from the field in the second half.
    • The Wildcats limited the Cardinals to 40.6-percent shooting in the second half.

Team Notes

  • Kentucky’s 90 points is the most points UL has allowed to a team this season.
    • This was the most points UK has scored against Louisville since earning a 103-89 win in 1992 at Rupp Arena.
    • This was the first time UK has scored 80 or more points against Louisville since its 2001-02 win in Rupp Arena (82-62)
  • This was Kentucky’s largest margin of victory (plus-29) against Louisville since taking down the Cardinals 76-46 on Dec. 18, 1999 in Rupp Arena.
    • The 29-point margin of victory was Kentucky’s second largest this season behind the 107-73 (plus-34) win against UIC.
    • The 29-point margin of victory was the third-largest victory in the series’ history, behind only the 91-57 UK victory in the 1947-48 season and the 76-46 Kentucky win in 1999-2000.
  • Kentucky earned its largest lead of the game at 8:06 of 32 points, which was the largest lead for UK against Louisville in a game in the John Calipari era.
    • The previous high was 18 by Kentucky in the 2010-11 game. The Wildcats won that game 78-63 in the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville.
  • The Wildcats’ 3-point defense was strong in the game, limiting UL to just 3-of-25 shooting from long range.
    • This was the first time this season UK has limited an opponent to three made 3s or less.
  • Kentucky shot 80.0 percent from the free-throw line in the game, going 24 of 30, which was its second highest free-throw percentage in a game this season.
    • The previous high was when Kentucky hit 25 of 30 from the charity stripe against Harvard.
  • Kentucky scored 41 first-half points, marking the seventh time in its last eight games it has accomplished that feat.
  • Kentucky is now 8-0 this season when it has a lead at halftime.
  • This was the fourth time this season UK has scored 90 or more points. The Wildcats are 4-0 this season in those games.
  • UK had a big advantage in bench points, 35-13.

Player Notes

  • Quade Green scored 13 points with five assists and three 3-pointers made.
    • His three 3-pointers ties a career high for the freshman, who also hit three from long range against East Tennessee State.
    • He added a career-high tying five assists in the game.
    • This was the fifth time in the last seven games that he has had five or more assists.
    • He has scored 10 or more points in seven games this season.
  • Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored a game-high 24 points, including 17 in the second half.
    • He earned career highs in points, field-goals made and field-goal attempts.
    • He added five rebounds and four assists in the game.
    • He was named the MVP of the game by the Bluegrass Sports Commission.
  • PJ Washington scored 16 points 5-of-10 shooting with seven rebounds.
    • He went a perfect 6 of 6 from the free-throw line.
    • He also added two assists and one block.
  • Hamidou Diallo scored 14 points in the game with six rebounds and two steals.
    • He has scored in double figures in six straight games.
    • He has hauled in at least three rebounds in 10 straight games.
    • He has six or more rebounds three times this season.
  • Kevin Knox scored eight points with seven rebounds and fouled out.
    • This was only the second game this season he has not scored in double figures.
    • He has posted five or more rebounds in every game but two this season.
    • This was his first foul out of the season.

Coach John Calipari

  • Calipari has a 704-195 all-time on-court record.
  • Calipari is now 259-55 at Kentucky.
  • Calipari is 15-7 vs. Louisville in his career.

Postgame interviews 

John Calipari

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

Quade Green

PJ Washington

David Padgett

Awesome UK/UL intro vide0

Box Score

Season Stats


From UK Athletics

JOHN CALIPARI: That’s as good as we play. The fans in Louisville should not be – I mean, their team has played well, and as a matter of fact, should have beat Purdue. They had them. Should have beat – I mean – the Seton Hall kid made like a runner at the buzzer. So what they did today, we just played about as well as we can play, and mainly because we finally competed and battled for an entire game.

Now, I had to sub some guys because we started reverting, and I just wasn’t going to let it happen, even late the last two minutes because we’re still learning. But I really like their team. They did not make shots today, thank goodness for us, but they’re a 40 percent 3-point shooting team.

You saw when they started going in the post, I had to go zone because they were going to score. They scored like three straight buckets to start the half and we went zone.

David has done a good job with this team, and we just — they hit us on a bad night. I mean, this is one of our better games.

Shai was ridiculous. I thought Quade, the way he started the game, I liked the lineup of Quade, Shai and Hami, a little bit smaller but I liked that lineup. Nick — they’re not computers, folks, and you saw that today. It’s not a computer game. Nick was not good at all. But that’s okay. Next game. Sacha was good. Wenyen did the stuff that he’s doing for us. Hami — and PJ played in my opinion his best game of the year.

Now we’ve got a quick flip. I’ve got to go to the office here in a minute and watch this tape, and then I’ve got to watch our Georgia game last year. Hopefully we didn’t play them twice because then I’ve got to watch both of them. And then I’ve got to watch the last couple of times they played because we have to start tomorrow because we play Sunday afternoon, Sunday at 6 p.m. That’s my afternoon.

Q. Knowing how much this rivalry means to the program and how your rivalry with Coach Pitino over the years affected like the way fans viewed it, how did it feel to look over today and him not be there?
JOHN CALIPARI: I’m going to be honest with you, I was so worried about the game, I really didn’t — that never entered my mind. I mean, it’s the next game for me. It didn’t. I mean — the one thing is obviously his imprint because of how they’re playing, and I thought they’d play more zone today than they did. They tried to get into zone a couple times, but they played mostly man. Some of the pressing stuff, some of the offensive stuff, that’s still stuff they’ve run over the past years.

Q. What exactly got into Shai today? He was really in attack mode from start to finish driving. Seemed really confident finishing. Did you see something in a matchup there?
JOHN CALIPARI: Let me tell you the biggest thing if you were watching. Most of you here don’t watch the game, you’re just tweeting and doing stuff. But if you happen to glance at the game, what you see on his face is a smile. That kid smiles, and I asked him after — I don’t know if it’s a Canadian thing. I don’t know what it is. But every Canadian that I’ve coached has fun and smiles and doesn’t feel the weight of the world on them. I’ve got some guys still feeling the weight of the world. You can see it. They miss a shot, they shrug their shoulders, they get pushed, something happens, they — and again, these kids are 18 and 19 years old. They’re all first year in college. Nine months ago, guess what, they were playing high school. So some of it’s expected, but Shai, he just plays.

Now, here’s the thing with him and Kevin and even Hami. Teams are starting to collapse defensively, which means, you won’t believe this, you have to pass. Like you’re not going to shoot a lay-up, and you have no reason to dribble into three guys. Make that pass and be willing. We’ve got guys on the team we’re trying to get better at that. Teams watch us, and like Louisville said, they play all one-on-one. I looked at my team, and I said, do you understand they’re saying you don’t pass? Pass the ball to each other. Make the game easy for each other. And I thought we did a lot of that tonight.

Q. What did you like best about PJ? Was it just his energy and his effort or was there something else?
JOHN CALIPARI: He had a way — look, he’s got to be — a great guy for him to watch and emulate is Draymond Green. Draymond is not a bully, but he can be. He will be, but that’s not what his game is. If he’s open, he’s shooting 3. He’s making free throws. The entire time Draymond has a spirit about him that drags everybody else. See, your body language screams. It screams. And you can drag people one way or do what Draymond does and drag them the other way to get them more inspired, wanting to play. I’m just telling PJ, be that guy. I’m telling him to shoot balls. There’s no one telling him not to shoot. I’m telling him to drive, but you’ve got to get by them and you’re not trying to bully, you’re trying to have a spirit about you.

But I’m proud of him, and Wenyen, I mean, again, the kid fights, and I told him after, this is who we should be every game. Now, it’s hard to be that, but it’s okay because I know Wenyen and Shai will be that, and if I have three others, then those are the five that will play. The rest of you won’t play. I’ll just play those five. And the good news is we can play zone now. So I can play those five. And when I was at UMass, I played five guys. My guards played 39 minutes, and my other guys played 37 and 38 minutes. I played five guys. I can do that.

Again, that was 30 years ago. I’m still standing, which is amazing.

Q. Yesterday you said you guys needed to defend better, needed to be more aggressive. Today you held Louisville to just 3 of 25 from 3 and 35 percent from the floor. How pleased were you with your team’s effort on the defensive side of the ball?
JOHN CALIPARI: I was happy, but understand that they missed some shots today that they normally make from the 3, thank goodness. But I think, again, we contested. We made (Quentin) Snyder bounce it a couple times when he had threes and made it that tough. We tried to take as much as we could away from (Deng) Adel, make him bounce it and try to know when he bounces he’s going right. But we were able to go zone and man. Look, most of my teams haven’t been able to do this, press a little bit, play man-to-man, and play some zone. So we have some bullets in the gun. We’re not stuck like — at the start of the half they scored three straight baskets. I said, that’s it, we’re going zone. And it looked good.

Q. You always have young teams, is there a concern or how do you guard against the sense of, okay, we’ve got this, we’ve arrived?
JOHN CALIPARI: Well, I told them that there was an arrogance when we played UCLA unearned, unearned. They haven’t done anything yet. We haven’t done anything yet. And the other team was playing us to prove individually I’m better than you, and their team collectively and their coach, we are better than you. We didn’t fight. We just let it happen. Well, you can’t — if you want to do this for a living, you’d better fight or someone else is going to fight, and you’re going to be watching TV. You’d better fight for what you want.

Shai hasn’t had all the accolades. We’ve had a lot of guys in there that have been told how great they are for a long time. You start believing that. But the guy playing against you doesn’t believe it. He’s trying to take your heart out. And you’ve got to fight back. And we’re learning.

I mean, I said today before the game, we’re no longer freshmen, I’m not saying it anymore, we’re not freshmen now. We’re 10 games in, 11 games in, we are not freshmen. And the other thing I said, we’ve got to start smashing people. When you drop 11 in the polls, lose in a neutral game to UCLA, pretty good team, I thought we’d be out of the top 25 to be honest with you. There was a lot of hope for that.

But I still told them before the game, look, we’ve got a good team, and I’m not trading my team for any team.

Q. You mentioned going to the zone to help the post defense. Why isn’t the post defense up to what you want?
JOHN CALIPARI: Well, PJ was guarding — I can’t remember who it was that just got the ball three times. Oh, Ray Spalding. And he just got it and just jumped over him. So your option is on the second bounce to go trap, leave the court open, or you play zone. And now instead of going against PJ, he had to go against either Sacha or Nick or someone big.

But I also like the small team when Wenyen is in. Wenyen, PJ, Kevin Knox or Hami and the guards, and I liked that team, and when we went zone with that team, it was pretty good; put PJ in the middle and let Wenyen and Kevin Knox be the wings.

Q. We always love it when you self-reflect; what grade would you give yourself this year for the way you’ve coached this team?
JOHN CALIPARI: Look, here’s what I would say. I have no rear-view mirror in my car, to just let you know. Everything I’m doing is that way. I don’t look back. At some point I’m going to retire, probably sooner than later, and then I’ll sit on the beach and think about games we played and players I coached and some of the worst games I’ve coached. There’s only been a few. And then some of the — no one laughs at that? I mean, what? And then some of the games where a good game plan worked. But I’ll tell you, UCLA, I did a bad job. I said it, they were more prepared. Their team was ready to play, mine wasn’t. And Steve had them in a mode, here’s how we’re going to have to play.

Now, we did show our team the 12 3-pointers that they made. They weren’t guarded. Like literally weren’t guarded. And that’s why they made them. It was like horse for them. This game we made them bounce it, we made it contested 3s, we played the drive going in to out instead of being wide and then coming in and giving up 3s. We started in to go out and play. We worked on it. But again, I gave them an extra day at Christmas. I really gave myself an extra day at Christmas. But when I was home, I was like, I shouldn’t have done this because we needed more time than a day and a half to prepare for this game. It shows you if these guys fight, they can do this. If they don’t fight, we will lose. We will lose. We have no easy games left. Every game we play is going to be a war.

Q. You said it’s not going to be like this every night, this performance, but is it for you a little bit of a relief to finally see a performance like this, kind of a complete on both ends and a bunch of different guys kind of stepping up?
JOHN CALIPARI: I told them after, I said, you should all be like Shai, because you’ve got a coaching staff that has your back personally. But I’m not letting you off the hook, Nick, and I’m not letting you off the hook, Kevin, and I’m not letting you off the hook in the second half, Quade. I’m not letting you off the hook because I care enough about you to make sure that you’re trying to get better and we’re there for you. But they should be smiling, and I would say I really — at that stage I still really enjoy winning, and losing, as I get older, gets harder and harder. But I love to win enough that it keeps you going.

If winning becomes a relief, it’s time to quit coaching. For me, I’m telling you, you won’t see me, but I’ll do two backflips when I go through this door and a handstand on the wall over there because this — no, seriously, because this kind of performance from your team when you coach in this environment, in this kind of game, it’s big time.

Thanks. Happy new year, by the way, for everybody.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

Kentucky Student-Athletes

#22, Shai Gilgeous- Alexander, Fr., G

On the good game because of the new hair …
I guess you can say that. I just felt good going out there and I knew a big game was coming.”

On what got into him …
“I watched film right after the game and I saw it personally that we were lackadaisical, and we didn’t really give the effort, we weren’t aggressive offensively and I just wanted to bring that to this game.”

On seeing something in his matchup making him confident …
Not in particular this game, I think it was just the mindset I had going into this one. I was more confident going into this game, watching film and seeing where I could pick my spots and get into the lane. And, I just think that I did that today.”

On feeling Louisville give in …
Yes, I think they tried to come in the second half and get a run going, but defensively we shut that down.”

On what they said to each other to squash again another double-digit run that a team puts up …
I think it was just again the same thing that happened last game. Their defense intensity and our effort. I think that we can into the huddle during the timeout and we talked about it, and we just wanted to come out and give it.”

#0, Quade Green, Fr., G

On his promise of a win for Kentucky fans for Christmas …
“We had to give it to them. We just had to come out and play hard and try to blow them out today, and we did that.”

On Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s play …
“He did excellent today. Everything. The pick-and-roll, the defense, he was excellent today. He was hitting the right shots for us and the big shots for us, too.”

On what led to Kentucky’s run at the end of the first half …
“It was our defense, I think. We just had to step it up. The crowd gave us energy. We just stepped it up.”

On the difference in defensive play from the game against UCLA to this game …

“We can defend, really, if we really try to. If we put all our effort into the defensive end, offense is gonna come, of course, because everyone is an offensive player on our team.”

#25, PJ Washington, Fr, F

On tonight being the best game the team has played thus far …

“I think so. We were making a lot of shots, we did great on the defensive end, we got a lot of stops and we got on transition.”

On how much they played like Cal wants them to play …

“I feel like we played great defensively. We stopped them where they couldn’t really score towards the end of the game. I feel like we need to continue doing that and we’ll beat a lot of teams going forward.”

On how big of a contrast tonight’s game was compared to UCLA …

“We kind of forgot about the UCLA game. We try to focus on our next game and next opponent. We did that great tonight, and I feel like the defensive end really helped us.”

On this game being the most emotional game this year …

“Yeah. I mean, this was a big game for us. It was definitely a rivalry. We wanted to come out and give the fans a win and we did that.”

Louisville Head Coach David Padgett

On how Kentucky looked compared to the UCLA game…

“Oh, I think the final score speaks for itself. They came right in to play. I’m not saying we didn’t, because we were in there for awhile until we got in foul trouble, but you know you just have to give them all some credit. They responded from a loss and they obviously made a lot more plays than we did.”

On Louisville losing momentum after going an 11-point run…

“Well, we got in foul trouble. And that’s not an excuse, that’s just the reality. Anas (Mahmoud) and Ray (Spalding) both pick up two fouls, V.J. (King) picked up a second foul and now you’re just trying to kind of just mix and match lineups to try and get to halftime and they took advantage of it. And again, you just have got to give them a lot of credit. We had to try and weather the storm there as much as we could to get to halftime and that’s when they made their run and we just couldn’t overcome it at the end of the day.”

On lack of aggressiveness by the Cardinals because of foul trouble…

“Well, we had a game plan that we wanted to come in and try to be confined, I guess, on defense. You know, just tight on defense, try to protect the paint because we knew they were going to make a point of trying to drive the ball. But what happens inevitably, they come out, they hit a couple long jump shots and now all of a sudden you get a little bit extended on defense and then the driving angles open up. So, like I said, this is going to sound like a broken record, but you have to give them a lot of credit. I mean they just were the much better basketball team.”

On being the head coach in this rivalry game…

“Well, if you were asking me that question right now I’d say it’s not very fun. Look, I’ve been a part of this as a player, an assistant and obviously the head coach and it’s an intense rivalry, but at the end of the day it’s just a basketball game. And you know, today we just played a team that was much better than we were.”

On how Anas Mahmoud played while in foul trouble…

“He was just trying to be aggressive and do what he does and block shots. You know, this was the day where we just couldn’t do anything right it seemed like. So, when it rains it pours I guess. But he was just trying to be aggressive.”

On what the halftime speech was…

“Well, I just told them, I said ‘Look, we’re going to get back in the game, but it’s got to be with our defense.’ And we came out and scored the first two or three possessions in the second half but we just didn’t get any stops. They scored their first four of five and that was the problem. We never could get close. So, today was kind of the first game all year and most of this credit goes to Kentucky, we let our offense affect our defense too much. We couldn’t get a stop. We had a low deflection total, we had five blocks, only three steals. So you know, just defensively we just couldn’t get ourselves going and I think a lot of that was because our offense wasn’t really working for us.”

On what the postgame speech was …

“Well look, we’ve got 18 ACC games starting on Tuesday, so we have got to bounce back. If we don’t learn from this then that’s when it gets really bad. You have to learn from this, but you just have to move on and get ready for Tuesday because that’s going to come up.”

On the 3-point shooting …

“I’d be better service answering that question after watching the film. I think we forced it a little bit too much there when we didn’t have much of an inside presence. You know, you can’t rely on 3-point shooting to win every game, so that’s where we let our offense not making shots affect our defense.”

On who the team is heading into conference play…

“I don’t know if we’ve 100 percent found that yet. You know, we’re going to have to be a great defensive team. We’re going to have nights where we don’t shoot the ball well. We’ve had moments this year where we were able to overcome it with our defense, but we’re going to have to really rely on our defense. We have guys who have been on very good defensive teams before, we just have to get back to doing that, get back to the basics. There is going to be a lot of learning lessons from this game, we just have to build on those.”

On making plays to work around foul trouble…

“Look, I was just trying to find anything and everything that could at least get us to halftime. You know, I just kept saying if we could get to halftime and keep it close. You know, foul trouble is a part of the game. It’s something we’ve experienced before. We just couldn’t overcome it tonight.”

Louisville Player Quotes

22, Deng Adel, F, Jr.

On the game …

“They hit us hard. From mentally and a preparation point, we didn’t come out and compete. They hit us early and we just never reacted. We just kept taking a beating. It was a tough loss. There are so many things to learn from this. I know it’s tough for the guys – tough for me – but we just didn’t compete hard.”

On if he was surprised by how the game went …

“I’m surprised. We weren’t prepared for their transition game. I think if they played in the half court, then we would’ve had a better chance. I don’t think we were well prepared for how fast paced the game was in their transition.”

14, Anas Mahmoud, F, Sr.

On what happened in the second half …

“I think in the first couple of minutes in the second half we tried to win on offense instead of getting stops on defense. I think they started the half 4-of-5 or 4-of-6. I think we tried to get back in the game right away instead of taking it step by step. It comes back on me too. I got a couple stupid fouls and put me on the bench, which was hard for my team.”

On what he took away from the game …

“Execution. I’m going to keep saying it. We did not execute anything that we’ve practiced the last four days, not even hardly at all. Even our press today wasn’t effective at all. Defensively we didn’t cover the gaps and they just drove down every single time and whenever they wanted. We just have to execute a lot better.”

4, Quentin Snider, G, Sr.

On being a leader …

“As a leader, I have to step up. And Deng (Adel) and Anas (Mahmoud) have to step up. And when things get down, we have to be the ones to pick guys back up. We just have to keep it moving and try to keep it going, stay positive instead of negative.”

On what he takes away from this game …

“Really just a learning experience. What hurt us was the defensive play. The defense really hurt us. We didn’t really communicate. In our 2-3, we didn’t really talk. Just the communication – we gotta work on.”

What was the turning point …

“I feel like when Ray (Spalding) and Anas got in foul trouble. We had to play with five guards at one point. So we didn’t really work on offense with five guards, really spreading the court, trying to penetrate and dish. But we didn’t really do that there. We did a lot of one-on-ones, and they really got on the break. And that’s when they extended the lead.”



LEXINGTON – The Bluegrass Sports Commission (BSC) named Kentucky freshman Shai Gilgeous-Alexander the Most Valuable Player award of today’s men’s basketball game between the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville at Rupp Arena.

Gilgeous-Alexander came off the bench to lead all scorers with a season-high 24 points. The Hamilton, Canada, native also recorded five rebounds, four assists and here steals in the Wildcat win.

No. 16 Kentucky improves its record to 10-2 with the 90-61 win over Louisville who falls to 10-3 on the year.

Gilgeous-Alexander’s MVP honor adds him to the list of previous award winners Josh Harrellson (UK-2010), Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (UK-2011), Russ Smith (UofL-2012), James Young (UK-2013),Tyler Ulis (UK-2014/2015), and Quentin Snider (UofL-2016).

“The Bluegrass Sports Commission congratulates Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and the Kentucky Wildcats on their win today,” said BSC President and CEO Brian Miller. “It’s great for these universities, programs and the Commonwealth to be center stage. Both programs have bright futures and we’d like to wish both teams good luck as they begin conference play. It looks like it will one again be an exciting March in the Commonwealth.”

This award winner, which is presented annually, was selected by a committee of the BSC Board of Directors.

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