LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Immanuel Quickley had eight of his 13 second-half points during an 18-3 run that helped No. 9 Kentucky pull away from Mount St. Mary’s for an 82-62 victory Friday night.
Ashton Hagans had 16 points, including a three-point play during the surge the Wildcats (4-1) needed after struggling with lesser opponents the previous past two games, including last week’s stunning upset loss to Evansville. For one half they appeared to follow the same pattern in leading by just 39-34 at the break with four lead changes.
Forward EJ Montgomery, who had missed three games with an ankle injury, sank a 3-pointer soon after to provide some breathing room before Kentucky took off. Quickley himself returned from a one-game absence and eventually hit a short jumper before dropping two 3s to make it 59-39, leading Kentucky’s 5-of-10 long-range shooting after the break.
Nick Richards had 11 of his 19 points in the first half, and Tyrese Maxey added for Kentucky, which shot 55% from the field. Quickley scored all 13 of his points in the second half.
Damian Chong Qui had 11 points, while Brandon Leftwich, Omar Habwe and Malik Jefferson 10 each for the Mountaineers (1-5), who lost their fourth in a row.
Mount St. Mary’s: The Mountaineers offset their height disadvantage to Kentucky with hustle that kept them close, especially on the glass. Keeping up became tougher once the Wildcats started hitting 3s, an area the Mount started well before making just 2 of 13 in the second half.
Kentucky: The Wildcats got a little closer to full strength with the returns of Montgomery and Quickley. Montgomery was a big help in the post and made a couple of nice baskets in his return, with his 3 helping ignite the decisive spurt.
After two lackluster efforts including the Evansville upset, Kentucky finally played the type of game that maintain its top-10 presence with another game on Sunday.
Mount St. Mary’s hosts Utah Valley on Tuesday in its final game of the four-team BBN Showcase featuring Lamar and UAB.
Kentucky hosts Lamar on Sunday in the third contest of the BBN Showcase.