From UK Athletics 

UK MEN’S BASKETBALL POSTGAME NOTES

KENTUCKY vs. WOFFORD

NCAA TOURNAMENT, MIDWEST REGION SECOND ROUND 

VYSTAR VETERANS MEMORIAL ARENA | JACKSONVILLE, FLA.

MARCH 23, 2019
ATTENDANCE: 14,250

Final Score: Kentucky 62, Wofford 56

Team Records and Series Notes

  • Kentucky is 29-6 overall. Wofford is 30-5, ending a 21-game winning streak.
    • UK entered the game ranked No. 7 nationally and the No. 2 seed in the Midwest Region.
    • Wofford entered ranked No. 19 nationally and the No. 7 seed in the Midwest. 
  • This was the first meeting between the teams.
  • Next for Kentucky: the Wildcats advance to the Midwest Regional (Kansas City) on Friday against the winner of tomorrow’s Houston-Ohio State game.

In the First Half

  • Kentucky started the combination of Ashton Hagans, Tyler Herro, Keldon Johnson, EJ Montgomery and Reid Travis for the second straight game. 
  • Wofford grabbed an early 5-0 lead, and other than an 11-11 tie, the Terriers led until the final minute of the half.
  • Trailing 24-18, UK closed the last three minutes of the half with a 10-2 run.
  • UK got its first lead, 26-24, on a short Hagans jumper with 53 seconds left.
  • Travis sent the Wildcats to intermission with a 28-26 lead on a pair of free throws with one second left. 

In the Second Half

  • Kentucky began the second half with the starting lineup.
  • Trailing 35-32, Kentucky went on a 13-2 run for a 45-37 lead. UK never trailed again.
  • With 8:42 left, two free throws by Herro gave the Wildcats their largest lead at 50-41.
  • Wofford rallied but with 5:10 left Herro’s 3-pointer gave UK some breathing room at 57-51. It would prove to be UK’s final basket of the game.
  • Wofford closed to within 58-56, but with 17.8 seconds remaining, Travis’ two free throws made it 60-56 and two more by Herro made it 62-56. 

Team Notes

  • Kentucky’s defense made the difference.
    • Shooting over 49 percent from the field for the season, Wofford shot 37.5 percent today. UK is 181-15 (.923) under Calipari when keeping the opponents to 40 percent or less, including 17-0 this season.
    • Shooting over 41 percent on 3-pointers for the season, Wofford shot 29.6 percent today.
  • UK is 172-7 (.961) under Calipari when limiting the opponent to 63 points or less, including 20-0 this season.
  • Kentucky won the rebounding, 36-30. UK is 24-4 this season when outrebounding the opponent. 
  • Free throws also were a significant factor.  UK sent Wofford to the line only nine times, making six, while the Wildcats made 17-of-20 for 85 percent. 

In the NCAA Tournament

  • Kentucky has an all-time record of 128-51 in the NCAA Tournament, more wins than any team in NCAA history.
  • UK is making its NCAA record 58th appearance in the tournament.
  • UK is 24-7 as the No. 2 seed in the tournament. UK is 5-2 vs. No. 7 seeds.
  • UK is 30-7 in the NCAA Tournament under Calipari.  
  • UK will be making its 27th NCAA Sweet 16 appearance, second-most in NCAA history. It is UK’s eighth in 10 seasons under Coach John Calipari, most of any team in the nation during that span. Calipari has made 12 of 14 Sweet 16s, dating to his time at Memphis.

Player Notes  

  • Reid Travis led the Wildcats with 14 points and 11 rebounds, his third double-double of the season.
    • He made 4-of-4 at the foul line, two key free throws at the end of each half. 
  • Ashton Hagans tallied 12 points, five rebounds and four assists.
  • Tyler Herro didn’t have a great offensive day with nine points, but had a solid floor game with six rebounds and four assists.
    • Made 4-of-4 free throws and has made 66 of his last 67 at the charity stripe.
  • Jemarl Baker had back-to-back career-high games with eight points today after getting seven points vs. Abilene Christian.
    • His 15 points over these two games are more than he scored in the previous 10 games combined (14).
  • Kentucky’s leading scorer and rebounder, PJ Washington, sat out his second straight game with a sprained foot. 

Calipari

  • Calipari is now 304-70 at UK.  
  • Calipari has a 749-210 all-time on-court record.
  • Calipari has a 55-18 record in the NCAA Tournament.
  • UK is 58-30 vs. ranked competition under Calipari. 

Box score 

Season stats 

Postgame Wofford comments

THE MODERATOR: Coach, if you could just give us some of your opening thoughts after this one today.

MIKE YOUNG: I’m struggling here, pardon me. I applaud Coach Calipari and the Wildcats. They fought, and they were incredibly well prepared. Needless to say, they have very, very good players. I see some of the things we led for 18 minutes, they led for 16. We had 56 shots, they had 52. We’ve been so fortunate in a number of situations, we’ve made our good fortune in a lot of cases. We couldn’t get one break today to get us over the hump. But I do, I applaud a really fine Kentucky team.

Q. Fletcher, just how disappointing to go 0 for 12 from three-point range?
FLETCHER MAGEE: Yeah, I mean, it’s incredibly disappointing. I feel like if I make three of those shots, we win the game. You know, a lot of them were good shots, and just — they didn’t go in.

Q. Can you put into perspective for us in terms of when was the last time you went an entire game missing a three-pointer?
FLETCHER MAGEE: Yeah, I think I’ve done it a couple times this year. You know, sometimes you shoot the ball just how you think you’re going to shoot it and it feels good and looks good and just doesn’t go in. Just one of those days.

Q. Fletcher, can you talk to us about what Kentucky did defensively against you? Did they play you differently than the teams that see you all the time in the Southern Conference? What did they do defensively that caused you to go 0 for 12?
FLETCHER MAGEE: Yeah, they played pretty good defense as far as topping me and trying to deny me the ball and not come off screens and stuff. But a lot of schools have done that. A lot of teams have done that to me before, and we’ve found ways to get around it. Today we — I feel like we got a decent amount of quality looks, and we didn’t knock them down. I think some of it definitely was their good defense, and mainly a lot of it was just me being off my shot.

Q. Nathan and Matt, the idea that Fletcher is not having a good night, what were you guys doing that kept you in the game and made you think that you could have a chance to pull it out?
NATHAN HOOVER: I mean, we have such a great team and such great players. If there’s a night — everybody knows there’s nights where one person can’t make shots. But that doesn’t mean we’re going to drop our heads because what we can do every night is defend and rebound and play as hard as we can, and we did a good job with that, just sometimes — it wasn’t enough sometimes, but even though he wasn’t making some of his shots, we still had the utmost confidence that he would make the next one because we’ve seen him do it all year, but sometimes it just doesn’t work out.

Q. Coach, we spoke a little bit yesterday about the small-school narrative that they have going with you guys. What do you think this type of match-up does for the overall brand of Wofford moving forward? Do people know who you guys are now?
MIKE YOUNG: Yeah, you know, we have been fortunate to be here five of the last 10 years, and that’s been remarkable. But to come down here this year with really a special team, with great internal leadership and really good players and to beat a very fine Seton Hall team, and then to come back, come back on Saturday and do it again against Kentucky, and we knew it. We knew it. And I think Coach knew it. We knew coming in that we had the look. We had what it took to find a way to win the game. That was the approach. It was always the approach.

Didn’t happen for us today, but certainly this group, this team has done enormous things, great things for not only our basketball program but for our great college and for the wonderful city of Spartanburg. This has been all-timers, all-timers and such a treat to have been a part of it.

Q. This is for any of you. What is the biggest takeaway for you all from this match-up?
MATTHEW PEGRAM: I think we fought the whole game. Kentucky played a great game. We fought the whole time. We never gave up until the very end, just came up a little short.

Q. Fletcher, you and Tyler guarded each other most of the day, both of you played pretty good defense. What was that match-up like? How intense — looked like you guys were even talking a little bit much trash here and there?
FLETCHER MAGEE: Yeah, I think it was definitely a good match-up. I mean, both of us didn’t play particularly well on offense, but we were going to compete, and I’m sure were motivated to not let the other one score. So yeah, I mean, it was fun going against him, but I just wish I could have played a little bit better?

Q. What kinds of things were said back and forth?
FLETCHER MAGEE: I don’t know. I don’t remember.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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