COLLEGE STATION — Well, at least it was close, right?
Kentucky's Immanuel Quickley scored a career-high 30 points and hit eight 3-pointers to lead the No. 8 Wildcats to a 69-60 victory over Texas A&M, marking their seventh consecutive win. The sophomore point guard is the first player with consecutive games with at least 25 points since Malik Monk in 2017.
Quenton Jackson ended the Aggies (14-13, 8-7 SEC) drought by putting back a dunk, putting up the first points in eight minutes for the maroon and white. Kentucky (23-5, 13-2) would lead by 13 points with six minutes remaining in the game. An 8-2 run by Buzz Williams' squad would cut the lead to seven as the clock just ticked past four minutes.
Quickley responded with a jump shot off another 3-pointer to give the Wildcats a 62-51 victory with 90 seconds remaining. Wendell Mitchell would lead the Aggies with 18 points while Savion Flagg and Josh Nebo tacked on 17 and 14 points, respectively.
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An early second half start from John Calipari's roster led the Wildcats eventual win. Ashton Hagans would score on a 3-point play to give Kentucky a 14 point lead before an 8-0 run led by Nebo would bring the two within six with 14 minutes on the clock.
Quickly once again responded for his team making back-to-back 3's to extend the lead by 12. A&M would tally four free throws in eight minutes while the Wildcats would go on an 11-4 run. Tyrese Maxey would score 13 points while EJ Montgomery would tally a team-high 10 rebounds. The Wildcats would shot 52.2% from the field and outrebound A&M 31-23.
Tuesday's loss would snap a three-game winning streak for the Aggies, who seem to be on the rise under the direction of their first-year coach. It also would be the ninth straight loss to a ranked opponent and third of the season following defeats at home to then-ranked LSU and Gonzaga.
Scoring troubles have been a problem for A&M all season and Tuesday was no exception. After a season-high 61% shooting against Mississippi State, A&M would make 41.7% from the field while only hitting 10 shots (47.7%) behind the arc. Another poor performance could put the Aggies on the outside looking in when the NIT selection process rolls around.
The Aggies will travel to Baton Rouge over the weekend to face LSU, who defeated them at home in overtime in January. The Wildcats will have a chance to redeem themselves against No.15 Auburn, who gave them their second loss in conference play at the beginning of the month.