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Kentucky suffers first SEC loss of season to Alabama

Alabama Kentucky Basketball
Posted at 11:11 PM, Jan 12, 2021

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — In a matchup of two teams undefeated in SEC play, The University of Kentucky men's basketball team never led and couldn't overcome a hot shooting night from Alabama, resulting in a 85-65 loss to the Crimson Tide in Rupp Arena on Tuesday night. The loss drops the Wildcats to 4-7 overall and 3-1 in SEC play.

Alabama improves to 9-3 overall and 5-0 in SEC play with the victory. The Tide hit fourteen 3-pointers in the game, 10 of which came in the first half.

Isaiah Jackson led Kentucky with 14 points in the loss. Devin Askew (12 points) and Keion Brooks Jr. (10 points) also broke double figures for the Wildcats.

John Petty Jr. led Alabama with 24 points while Jaden Shackleford poured in 18 of his own.

Alabama jumped out to a 23-19 lead midway through the first half before Dontaie Allen knocked down a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to one point. Alabama then went on a 13-1 run, highlighted by a trio of 3-pointers from Petty Jr., Alex Reese and Shackleford to push the Tide's lead to double digits for the first time in the night. Allen answered the Alabama run with another 3-pointer before Petty Jr. and Jordan Bruner each added a 3-pointer to help give Alabama a 42-30 lead at halftime.

The Tide stretched its lead to as much as 17 points after Josh Primo hit a 3-pointer with 15:02 to play. The Wildcats answered with a 7-1 spurt, highlighted by a Jacob Toppin layup, to make the score 54-43 with 12:16 to play and give a bit of hope to the limited amount of fans in Rupp Arena. However, an old-fashioned 3-point play from Shackleford and a pair of underneath baskets from Juwan Gary quickly took away that hope and gave Alabama an 18-point lead.

Kentucky never got back within single digits as Alabama held on for the 20-point victory.

Alabama won in impressive fashion despite Herbert Jones, who entered the game averaging 12.9 PPG and 6.5 RPG for the Tide, leaving early in the first half with a wrist injury.

UK travels to take on Auburn (6-6, 2-1 SEC) on Saturday at 2 p.m. The game will air on ESPN.

Before the game, UK players wore No. 33 on their warm ups in honor of Ben Jordan, who passed away Tuesday morning. Jordan played baseball for the Wildcats and walked on the basketball team last season.