Zags hand No. 17 Kentucky 3rd straight home loss

Feb 10, 2024, 07:04 PM ET LEXINGTON, Ky.– Gonzaga felt the energy and history of Rupp Arena, then crafted a milestone that No. 17 Kentucky didn’t want.Anton Watson scored 17 points, including a go-ahead three-point have fun with 3:49 staying before including two key layups in the final 91 seconds, Ben Gregg and Nolan Hickman sank crucial late totally free tosses, and Gonzaga endured a second-half rally to beat No. 17 Kentucky 89-85 on Saturday.The Wildcats (16-7)have now lost 3 straight at Rupp Arena for the first time because it opened in 1976. Kentucky hadn’t lost 3 in a row in your home given that the 1966-67 season, when it played at Memorial Coliseum.”When you walk into this structure and it’s been loaded like it has been for three games, we just generally come out on fire and we haven’t,”Kentucky coach John Calipari said.Editor’s Picks 1 Related On the other hand, Gonzaga left its first trip to Lexington with a lot to savor.The Bulldogs (18-6)outperformed Kentucky in many every stage to lead 42-32 at halftime before the Wildcats stormed back ahead to force a back-and-forth contest. Reed Sheppard’s three-point play with 4:07 left connected the game at 75, however Watson provided the consent layup and taking place complimentary toss to put Gonzaga ahead for great, 78-75. “When you have a skilled 4 [power forward] like Anton, the defensive schemes change,”Gonzaga coach Mark Few stated of Watson, who made 6 of 13 from the field.

“We finally made plays down the stretch at the end. We made shots and finally made some totally free tosses.”Watson followed Ryan Nembhard’s two free tosses and Graham Ike’s layup with a key tip-in with 1:31 left for an

84-80 edge and another basket 36 seconds later for another four-point cushion that Kentucky could not erase. Gregg

stole a lob pass intended for Adou Thiero (15 points, three blocks )and made 1 of 2 free throws with 5 seconds left. Hickman made two more with a 2nd left to seal a big win.Sheppard had 21 points and Antonio Reeves 17 for Kentucky.Ike scored a team-high 23 points before fouling out with 43 seconds left, Hickman had 17 and Braden Huff 12 as Gonzaga edged Kentucky 47 %to 46 %in shooting. The Bulldogs did most of their damage near the basket, outscoring the Wildcats 50-40 in the paint and beating them 43-31 in rebounding, including 18 offending boards.Gonzaga was nearly best from the totally free throw line after halftime, making 18 of 19 efforts and 21 of 24 general.”This win was definitely a step in the best instructions,”Ike stated.”We closed the game out like we were expected to, and it’s simply an excellent feeling.”The Associated Press added to this story.

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