Utes upset No. 6 Kentucky in a stunner, 69-66
LAS VEGAS – The Runnin’ Utes added an impressive line on the team’s 2019 resume: a win over No. 6 Kentucky, 69-66.
The win left the crowd shocked, the analysts surprised, and the Ute fans overjoyed.
The east coast fans who went to bed before the game ended are waking to quite a shock.
The victory was built on a satisfactory offense effort and a defensive stronghold that stymied Kentucky throughout the game.
Utah played Kentucky like no other opponent has in 2019.
The Utes shot 54.8-percent from the field, a record for a Kentucky opponent this year.
Utah enjoyed a 17-pt. lead for a time during the game.
The lead was built on a 14-1 run that was helped by a Wildcat field-goal drought that lasted for nearly six minutes.
Young teams like Utah don’t typically get 17-pt. leads over Kentucky.
Olympus High grad and Utah freshman Rylan Jones added 15 points in the win.
Sophomore Both Gach put up 12 points over the Wildcats.
Sophomore Timmy Allen finished with 25 points during his 40 minutes of play.
Utah had a drought of its own during the second half. This, plus fierce Kentucky play, kept the game was in question until the final moment.
Kentucky also managed to keep the game interesting by scoring 13 points off of eight turnovers.
Kentucky came within a shot of tying the game when the clock was winding down.
Wildcat Tyrese Maxey drove to the basket to tie the game, drawing a foul from Utah’s Riley Battin. The foul was overturned and Tyrese was called for charging.
A game-saving free throw came from Utah’s Jones on the next possession.
The loss was the second for the Kentucky Wildcats, who are perennially a strong favorite to make it into post-season play.
The win, for what it was worth, finally avenged an NCAA national championship game loss to Kentucky in 1998.
The win was the first for Utah over Kentucky since Dec. 1976, a game that was won by only two points 43 years ago.
Kentucky beat Utah by 27 points last season in the Rupp Arena in Lexington.
Utah will play one more game before starting on its conference schedule. The next game is against No. 20 San Diego State.