LUBBOCK, Texas (LEX 18) — Nick Richards recorded a double-double and hit two go-ahead free throws late in overtime to lead No. 15 Kentucky to a thrilling 76-74 victory over No. 18 Texas Tech in the Big 12/SEC Challenge.
Richards (25 points, 14 rebounds) scored seven of Kentucky's 12 points in the overtime period.
Immanuel Quickley (21 points) also broke double figures for the Wildcats, who improve to 15-4 (5-1 SEC) on the season.
Kyler Edwards led the Red Raiders (12-7, 3-3 Big 12) with 18 points.
Kentucky built a 31-28 lead before Texas Tech went on a 6-0 spurt to take a three-point lead with just 36 seconds on the clock and bring the United Supermarkets Arena crowd to it's feet.
Tyrese Maxey drilled a jumper to cut the deficit to one point with five seconds left on the clock before Texas Tech quickly tried to create one last scoring opportunity before the halftime buzzer. However, Chris Clarke wasn't able to control a deep in-bounds pass and the ball went out of bounds back to Kentucky with 1.6 seconds left in the half. E. J. Montgomery then tossed the ensuing in-bounds pass into Quickley, who took one dribble before rimming in a shot from half-court to give the Wildcats a 36-34 lead at halftime.
The Wildcats stretched their lead to 10 points, 48-38, off a pair of free throws from Tyrese Maxey at the 16:17 mark of the second half. The Red Raiders crept with five points, 52-47, off a Davide Moretti jumper before Nate Sestina drilled a 3-pointer at the top of the key to stretch Kentucky's lead back to eight points.
TTU once again crept within five points just moments later before another 3-pointer, this one from Johnny Juzang, gave Kentucky a 58-50 lead with 9:32 to play.
With Kentucky holding on to a 61-53 lead, the Red Raiders went on a 10-2 run to tie the game at 63 with 2:40 to play. Neither team hit a field goal the rest of regulation as Richards and Moretti each went 1-2 from the free throw line to round out the second half scoring. Kentucky had a chance to win the game late, but Quickley's 3-pointer missed off the mark.
Richards opened overtime with a pair of free throws and an old-fashioned 3-point play to give Kentucky a five-point lead.
Edwards answered with a layup before Sestina drilled his second 3-pointer of the night to stretch the Wildcats' lead to six points with 3:00 left in the overtime period. Once again, the Red Raiders rallied and tied the game at 72 with 1:13 to play.
With the game tied at 74, the Wildcats got a defensive stop and Richards was able to draw a foul while battling for a loose ball to send himself to the free throw line with 10 seconds to play. Richards drilled both free throws to give Kentucky a 76-74 lead.
Moretti tried to come up with the equalizer in the final seconds, but Hagans was able to knock the ball loose from Moretti which eventually led to a Red Raider turnover with less than a second on the clock. The final tenths of a second were ran off on a deep pass as Kentucky escaped with the two-point win to round out non-conference play.
Kentucky hosts Vanderbilit (8-11, 0-6 SEC) on Wednesday in Rupp Arena. The game will be streamed on the SEC Network.