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Impressive Wildcats hit century mark for third straight win in Bahamas Tour

By Keith Taylor
Kentucky Today

Kentucky hit the century mark and remained undefeated in the Big Blue Bahamas Tour with a 100-64 rout of Mega Bemax Saturday night at Imperial Arena at Paradise Island.

It marked the Wildcats’ third straight victory in the four-game tour, which concludes at 4 p.m. Sunday against Team Toronto. Kentucky coach John Calipari expected a close encounter against the Serbian professional squad, but it wasn’t even close. The Wildcats broke an early 7-7 deadlock with an impressive 17-1 run to build a 24-8 advantage and ran away with an easy win.

PJ Washington scored 25 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in Kentucky’s 100-64 win over Mega Bemax Saturday night in the Bahamas. (UK Athletics Photo)

“I thought we took it at them and I was surprised at the start of the game when we were all over them,” Kentucky coach John Calipari said during on the Southeastern Conference Television Network.

Calipari has been watching his team from the stands and assistant coach Tony Barbee coached the squad for the second straight game. Calipari has been pleased with his team’s play during the tour and “the way they play for each other.”

“I think they’re playing with high energy and we’ve got a high motor team,” Calipari said. “That’s how we want to play basketball, high motor, great movement, playing unselfish (and) it’s really fun to watch.”

Kentucky placed six players in double figures, led by PJ Washington, who had a double-double with 20 points and 12 rebounds, 11 of which came on the defensive end of the floor. Freshmen Tyler Herro and Keldon Johnson followed with 16 points each and Nich Richards added 15 points. Immanuel Quickley chipped in with 12 points.

Herro and Quickley combined for four of Kentucky’s seven 3-pointers in the contest. Kentucky made just two of 20 shots from behind the arc in the opener but is 14-26 in the past two games.

Quade Green, who set the tone early with nine points in the opening half, scored 10 points. Reid Travis just missed double figures with eight points and Ashton Hagans scored three. Calipari has been impressed with his team’s focus and likes the way Richards has played during the first three contests.

“They’ve got to build their own confidence and that’s through demonstrated performance, through practice and spending extra time (in the gym),” he said. “This is not last year (Richards) is more confident and he’s more comfortable.”

While Kentucky’s offense has been clicking during the tour, the Wildcats displayed some of their defensive prowess against the Serbian squad. Mega Bermax didn’t connect on its first field goal until the 10:38 mark of the second half.

Keith Taylor is sports editor for Kentucky Today. Reach him at keith.taylor@kentuckytoday.com or twitter @keithtaylor21.

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