Kentucky was hoping to ring in the New Year with a win in the first SEC game of the year against Georgia.
UK didn't get off to a great start hitting only one of its first seven shots and both Nick Richards and P.J. Washington picked up two fouls each in the first three minutes.
Down 6-0 UK got it going. Wenyen Gabriel had a tip in to get the Wildcats on the board. Quade Green hit a jumper after the Cats got an offensive rebound. He followed that up with a three pointer. UK finally got its first lead as Tai Wynyard tipped a pass away, Hamidou Diallo had a nice bounce pass that led to a Green layup. UK would lead 12-10 with 10:18 to play.
Things slowed to a grind. had a stretch of hitting just 1 of their last 10 shots from the field. A steal from Shai Gilgeous-Alexander led to a Green lay-up as he scored 11 of UK's first 15 points.
Georgia went on a 6-0 run with a rebound and putback from Yante Maten, a steal and dunk by Juwan Parker and a Maten jumper.
But, UK made a late push as a blocked shot had Georgia Coach, Mark Fox, livid on the sidelines. After Gilgeous-Alexander was fouled, Fox received a technical foul. SGA hit all 4 free throws and UK would trail at the half 27-26.
UK shot just 20 percent from the field while Georgia was only 34 percent. Quade Green led the way with 13 points as Gilgeous-Alexander chipped in 7 and Wenyen Gabriel had 9 rebounds.
Georgia started the half with back-to-back three pointers. Kevin Knox would answer with first field goal of the game, also a three. P.J. Washington finally got it going hitting one of two free throws and then a shot in the post. Diallo added a couple of free throws and UK trailed 42-39 with just under 12 to play.
After being down as much as 8, UK kept chipping away at the lead and finally got it as Hamidou Diallo got a lay-in to go for a 47-46 lead. It was the Cats first of he second half and only 2nd of the game. They'd later trail by 2 again until SGA hit a three pointer and then Knox hit a lay-in for a 56-53 lead.
UK would hit free throws to win 66-61. The Cats are now 11-2 on the season, 1-0 in the SEC.
Gilgeous-Alexander led the way with 21 while Green added 15 and Diallo 10. UK plays at LSU Wednesday at 8:30.
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