No. 21 Kentucky bounces back, beats Texas A&M

No. 21 Kentucky bounces back, beats Texas A&M

No. 21 Kentucky bounces back, beats Texas A&M

A&M (11-5, 0-4 SEC) couldn't complete entry passes to Tyler Davis and Robert Williams, and the Wildcats collapsed with length on dribble-drives.

Challenged by coach John Calipari to show toughness and urgency, No. 21 Kentucky displayed both against a Texas A&M squad determined to win its first Southeastern Conference game. Six ties and six lead changes in the first period of the game defined the close affair through the first 20 minutes.

United Kingdom plays Saturday at Vanderbilt. The game will be televised on ESPN.

Credit Hamidou Diallo, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and P.J. Washington with making winning plays for Kentucky. United Kingdom is 3-0 with this lineup.

Game: Oregon at No. 11 Arizona State Time: 10 p.m. TV: FS1 Off the rim: If Oregon (11-5) is going to get into NCAA Tournament conversation, as many projected before the season, it likely has to start against Arizona State (13-2), considering the Ducks have lost to every decent team on their schedule, including the latest setback to rival Oregon State, 74-64.

After leading by two at the half, the Cats saw themselves on the wrong end of a bad run by the Aggies that had United Kingdom down five mere minutes into the half, while electric forward P.J. Washington picked up his third foul. Then came a heartbreaking home loss to LSU on an off-balance Tremont Waters buzzer-beating 3-pointer.

United Kingdom went cold at that point, going over seven minutes without a field goal, but the Cats' defense and foul shots kept them in the game. With 3:10 to go, United Kingdom leads 30-29. "But we went to man, they'd score five straight times".

United Kingdom is 9-1 this season when leading at halftime. "I just waited and jumped up and got a steal, and I saw Kevin and passed to him for an easy layup".

A TAMU turnover was followed by a Washington foul shot.

Washington then scored with just under a minute to play on a lay-up that gave United Kingdom a two possession lead at 72-67.

Ahead 73-71 with 15.9 seconds left, Knox hit a free throw.

Texas A&M missed a three but tipped it in for a 74-73 United Kingdom lead and Washington was fouled.

United Kingdom turned the ball over on the in-bounds but a miss Aggies 3 fell into the hands of Knox. Kentucky shot 65% from the charity stripes, but survived a late push by Texas A&M when the Aggies threw the ball out of bounds on their final possession.

Looking at effective field goal percentage, Kentucky should have a considerable advantage.

United Kingdom is 6-0 this season when making at least 50 percent, 10-0 when making at least 46.4 percent.

United Kingdom had only 12 turnovers tonight.

6-0 - UK's record when committing 12 or fewer turnovers.

United Kingdom has won a pair of one-possession games in the last week, 74-71 at LSU and 74-73 tonight. Now the Aggies have to stomach another narrow loss to a Kentucky team that only had seven available scholarship players and used walk-on Brad Calipari for meaningful minutes during the first half.

Kentucky has won 16 in a row in Rupp Arena. But Xavier senior Kerem Kanter (6-10, 240) is coming off a 24-point, 12-rebound game at Providence, which may be of more concern to the Wildcats. "I think that we kind of let up in the second half and might have got complacent from what we did in the first half".

The last time the Aggies played, they were beaten by the LSU Tigers, 69-68.

The short-handed, young Wildcats earned a hard-fought victory with some timely plays on both ends.

Calipari is now 262-56 at Kentucky.

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