LEXINGTON, Ky. — The Wildcats lead Utah Valley at the half, 35-27.
Kentucky was down to just seven scholarship players with E.J. Montgomery (ankle) and Immanuel Quickley (chest injury) on the sidelines.
The Wildcats started slow but it was a big first half for Nick Richards. The junior forward had several hook shots fall, including one that he hit while he was fouled. That gave the WIldcats a 10-6 lead.
Like Evansville, Utah Valley stayed close with the three point shot. One tied it at 20 before Richards hit another hook shot and Tyrese Maxey hit a long three to put the Cats up 25-20.
The WIldcats built their biggest lead as Kahlil Whitney hit a jumper from the wing and Ashton Hagans got a steal and slam to put Kentucky in front 31-25 with just less than 3 minutes to go in the half.
Nick Richards led the way with 11 points and 7 rebounds. Maxey chipped in 9 and Hagans had 8. Both teams shot 33% while UK out rebounded Utah Valley 26-14.