UAB
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Big men help No. 9 Kentucky beat UAB 69-58

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) EJ Montgomery and Nick Richards protected and attacked the rim as expected.

The upside for No. 9 Kentucky was how confidently the big men also shot jumpers, thanks in part to opportunities created by Ashton Hagans.

Richards and Montgomery each scored 16 points and combined for 17 rebounds, helping the Wildcats beat UAB 69-58 on Friday night.

The 6-foot-11 junior Richards made all seven shots from the field with several slams - including the game's opening basket that got the Wildcats (6-1) going - along with a couple of jumpers. Starting for the first time since the opener against top-ranked Michigan State, the 6-10 sophomore Montgomery posted a career high, going 7 of 13 from the field and giving Kentucky a strong post presence in its first game without injured starter Nate Sestina.

With Sestina out approximately four weeks after hurting a wrist on Tuesday, Kentucky will more require a lot more minutes and production from its frontcourt. Montgomery came back strong after missing three games earlier this month with a high ankle sprain.

''It's been good, I've been working on it,'' Montgomery said of his jumper. ''It wasn't going down at first, but I'm not going to stop shooting. I'm going to continue to shoot and get better every day.''

The Wildcats only trailed early in the game and steadily extended the lead. Richards had nine rebounds and Montgomery had eight with a block.

They played a lot together, but coach John Calipari also had them in different rotations with smaller lineups. Either way, they gave Kentucky the post depth it will need in the short and long term.

''It's tough when you've got eight guys,'' the coach said. ''But if you're one of the eight, you're happy. And we'll have to keep this going until we get Nate back.''

Immanuel Quickley and Ashton Hagans each added nine points as Kentucky shot 47% and controlled the glass 39-26 for its fourth consecutive win since being upset by Evansville on Nov. 12 when ranked No. 1. Hagans' 12 assists tied a career high and he committed just two turnovers.

Tyreek Scott-Grayson and Jalen Benjamin each scored 19 points for the Blazers (4-2), who shot 41% as their two-game winning streak ended.

Kentucky won all four games of the Big Blue Nation Showcase, a round-robin that also featured Utah Valley, Mount St. Mary's and Lamar.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

Kentucky will stay in the top 10 and perhaps move up a spot with Duke's loss expected to shuffle the rankings.

BIG PICTURE

UAB: The Blazers' bright spots were 8 of 16 shooting from long range - including several down the stretch that whacked a 20-point lead - while being edged just 30-28 in the paint. But they couldn't contain Kentucky's tall tandem and couldn't top 41% shooting for the fourth consecutive game. UAB also shot just five three throws, making two.

''We were one of the best offensive rebounding teams in the country, and we only got eight,'' coach Robert Ehsen said. ''When we did, their length extremely bothered us. Maybe more mentally than anything. They didn't block a whole lot of shots, but we missed and hurried because of their length and athleticism.''

Kentucky: The Wildcats got a promising look at how Richards and Montgomery played together and in rotations with smaller lineups. They'll need more help inside from freshmen Kahlil Whitney and Keion Brooks as the schedule gets tougher, but this was a good start.

''Here's the greatest thing,'' Calipari said. ''With Nate being out, they're both going to have their chances to do it.''

UP NEXT

UAB faces another Power Five opponent on Tuesday at Texas before hosting No. 16 Memphis on Dec. 7.

Kentucky hosts Fairleigh Dickinson on Dec. 7.

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1st Half

Time Team Play Score
20:00   Jumpball received by Kentucky  
19:52 +2 Nick Richards made dunk, assist by Ashton Hagans 0-2
19:12   Makhtar Gueye missed jump shot  
19:10   Defensive rebound by EJ Montgomery  
19:02 +2 Ashton Hagans made jump shot, assist by Tyrese Maxey 0-4
18:46   Offensive foul on Tyreek Scott-Grayson  
18:46   Turnover on Tyreek Scott-Grayson  
18:27   Tyrese Maxey missed 3-pt. jump shot  
18:25   Defensive rebound by Makhtar Gueye  
18:15   Jalen Benjamin missed layup  
18:13   Defensive rebound by Kentucky  
18:00   Kahlil Whitney missed jump shot  
17:58   Defensive rebound by Tyreek Scott-Grayson  
17:39 +2 Tamell Pearson made layup 2-4
17:20   EJ Montgomery missed layup  
17:18   Offensive rebound by EJ Montgomery  
17:09   Ashton Hagans missed 3-pt. jump shot  
17:07   Defensive rebound by Tyreek Scott-Grayson  
16:52 +2 Tamell Pearson made layup 4-4
16:39   Ashton Hagans missed jump shot  
16:37   Offensive rebound by Kentucky  
16:36   Personal foul on Tamell Pearson  
16:26   Kahlil Whitney missed 3-pt. jump shot  
16:24   Defensive rebound by Tamell Pearson  
16:05   Makhtar Gueye missed hook shot  
16:03   Defensive rebound by Tyrese Maxey  
15:54   Offensive foul on Nick Richards  
15:54   Turnover on Nick Richards  
15:44   Tyreek Scott-Grayson missed layup  
15:42   Defensive rebound by Nick Richards  
15:40   Bad pass turnover on Nick Richards  
15:30   Kassim Nicholson missed jump shot  
15:28   Offensive rebound by Makhtar Gueye  
15:13 +3 Jalen Benjamin made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Tyreek Scott-Grayson 7-4
14:52 +2 Nick Richards made dunk, assist by Ashton Hagans 7-6
14:27   Makhtar Gueye missed layup  
14:25   Defensive rebound by Kentucky  
14:03   Tyrese Maxey missed 3-pt. jump shot  
14:01   Defensive rebound by Jordan Brinson  
13:50   Jordan Brinson missed layup  
13:48   Defensive rebound by Immanuel Quickley  
13:44   Personal foul on Jalen Benjamin  
13:28   Lost ball turnover on Keion Brooks Jr., stolen by Jordan Brinson  
13:21   Jalen Benjamin missed jump shot  
13:19   Defensive rebound by Keion Brooks Jr.  
13:21   Personal foul on Will Butler  
13:09   Personal foul on Jordan Brinson  
12:51 +2 Immanuel Quickley made jump shot 7-8
12:29   Tavin Lovan missed layup  
12:27   Defensive rebound by Keion Brooks Jr.  
12:21 +3 Keion Brooks Jr. made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Ashton Hagans 7-11
11:56   Tavin Lovan missed layup  
11:54   Defensive rebound by Ashton Hagans  
11:46 +2 EJ Montgomery made layup, assist by Ashton Hagans 7-13
11:12   Jordan Brinson missed layup  
11:10   Offensive rebound by Will Butler  
11:06   Will Butler missed layup  
11:04   Defensive rebound by EJ Montgomery  
11:00   Immanuel Quickley missed jump shot  
10:58   Defensive rebound by Kassim Nicholson  
10:43 +3 Jalen Benjamin made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Jordan Brinson 10-13
10:22 +2 EJ Montgomery made jump shot, assist by Tyrese Maxey 10-15
10:07   Jalen Benjamin missed 3-pt. jump shot  
10:05   Defensive rebound by Ashton Hagans  
9:58 +3 Tyrese Maxey made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Ashton Hagans 10-18
9:36 +2 Will Butler made layup 12-18
9:36   Shooting foul on EJ Montgomery  
9:37   Will Butler missed free throw  
9:37   Defensive rebound by EJ Montgomery  
9:12 +2 EJ Montgomery made jump shot 12-20
8:45   Tyreek Scott-Grayson missed layup  
8:43   Defensive rebound by Keion Brooks Jr.  
8:36   Tyrese Maxey missed layup  
8:34   Offensive rebound by Kentucky  
8:29   Keion Brooks Jr. missed jump shot  
8:27   Defensive rebound by Tamell Pearson  
8:07   Personal foul on Johnny Juzang  
7:59   Traveling violation turnover on Makhtar Gueye  
7:38   Offensive foul on Ashton Hagans  
7:38   Turnover on Ashton Hagans  
7:17   Tamell Pearson missed layup  
7:15   Offensive rebound by Makhtar Gueye  
7:10 +3 Kassim Nicholson made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Tyreek Scott-Grayson 15-20
6:43   Keion Brooks Jr. missed jump shot  
6:41   Offensive rebound by Kahlil Whitney  
6:31 +3 Johnny Juzang made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Kahlil Whitney 15-23
6:17   Out of bounds turnover on Jalen Benjamin  
6:08   Johnny Juzang missed 3-pt. jump shot  
6:06   Defensive rebound by Tamell Pearson  
5:52 +2 Tamell Pearson made layup, assist by Tyreek Scott-Grayson 17-23
5:38 +2 EJ Montgomery made jump shot, assist by Kahlil Whitney 17-25
5:12   Tamell Pearson missed layup  
5:10   Defensive rebound by Nick Richards  
5:04   Traveling violation turnover on Kahlil Whitney  
4:48   Offensive foul on Tavin Lovan  
4:48   Turnover on Tavin Lovan  
4:31 +2 Nick Richards made jump shot, assist by Ashton Hagans 17-27
4:03 +2 Tyreek Scott-Grayson made jump shot 19-27
3:51 +2 Nick Richards made layup, assist by Ashton Hagans 19-29
3:31   Makhtar Gueye missed 3-pt. jump shot  
3:28   Offensive rebound by UAB  
3:19   Kassim Nicholson missed jump shot  
3:17   Defensive rebound by Nick Richards  
2:54   Shooting foul on Jalen Benjamin  
2:54 +1 Kahlil Whitney made 1st of 2 free throws 19-30
2:54 +1 Kahlil Whitney made 2nd of 2 free throws 19-31
2:39 +2 Tyreek Scott-Grayson made layup 21-31
2:30   Kahlil Whitney missed jump shot  
2:28   Offensive rebound by EJ Montgomery  
2:23   Tyrese Maxey missed layup  
2:21   Defensive rebound by Antonio Ralat  
2:09 +2 Jalen Benjamin made jump shot 23-31
1:48   Kahlil Whitney missed jump shot  
1:46   Defensive rebound by Kassim Nicholson  
1:27   Kassim Nicholson missed 3-pt. jump shot  
1:25   Defensive rebound by Nick Richards  
1:11 +3 Ashton Hagans made 3-pt. jump shot 23-34
54.0 +2 Makhtar Gueye made layup, assist by Antonio Ralat 25-34
37.0 +3 Immanuel Quickley made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Ashton Hagans 25-37
8.0   Lost ball turnover on Jalen Benjamin, stolen by Ashton Hagans  
4.0   Shooting foul on Makhtar Gueye  
4.0   Ashton Hagans missed 1st of 2 free throws  
4.0 +1 Ashton Hagans made 2nd of 2 free throws 25-38
0.0   End of period  

2nd Half

Time Team Play Score
19:46 +3 Tyreek Scott-Grayson made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Tavin Lovan 28-38
19:29   Offensive foul on Nick Richards  
19:29   Turnover on Nick Richards  
19:07   Out of bounds turnover on Tamell Pearson  
18:50   EJ Montgomery missed 3-pt. jump shot  
18:48   Offensive rebound by Kahlil Whitney  
18:29   Shooting foul on Makhtar Gueye  
18:29 +1 EJ Montgomery made 1st of 2 free throws 28-39
18:29 +1 EJ Montgomery made 2nd of 2 free throws 28-40
18:12   Makhtar Gueye missed layup, blocked by EJ Montgomery  
18:10   Defensive rebound by EJ Montgomery  
18:02   Lost ball turnover on Ashton Hagans, stolen by Tavin Lovan  
18:02   Personal foul on Ashton Hagans  
17:47 +3 Tyreek Scott-Grayson made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Tamell Pearson 31-40
17:28   Shooting foul on Tamell Pearson  
17:28   Nick Richards missed 1st of 2 free throws  
17:27   Nick Richards missed 2nd of 2 free throws  
17:28   Defensive rebound by Makhtar Gueye  
17:10   Lost ball turnover on Makhtar Gueye  
16:54 +2 Nick Richards made dunk, assist by Ashton Hagans 31-42
16:41   Tamell Pearson missed jump shot  
16:39   Defensive rebound by EJ Montgomery  
16:27   Offensive foul on EJ Montgomery  
16:27   Turnover on EJ Montgomery  
16:12   Tavin Lovan missed layup, blocked by Nick Richards  
16:10   Offensive rebound by Tavin Lovan  
16:06 +2 Tavin Lovan made layup 33-42
15:52   Personal foul on Jalen Benjamin  
15:47   EJ Montgomery missed jump shot  
15:45   Offensive rebound by Nick Richards  
15:45   Personal foul on Kassim Nicholson  
15:40   Personal foul on Kassim Nicholson  
15:22 +2 Nick Richards made dunk, assist by Ashton Hagans 33-44
15:01   Personal foul on Nick Richards  
14:47   Tavin Lovan missed layup  
14:45   Offensive rebound by Will Butler  
14:46   Bad pass turnover on Will Butler  
14:34 +2 EJ Montgomery made dunk, assist by Ashton Hagans 33-46
14:14   Shooting foul on EJ Montgomery  
14:14   Luis Hurtado missed 1st of 2 free throws  
14:14 +1 Luis Hurtado made 2nd of 2 free throws 34-46
13:53   Immanuel Quickley missed 3-pt. jump shot  
13:51   Offensive rebound by Johnny Juzang  
13:51   Personal foul on Kassim Nicholson  
13:35   Johnny Juzang missed jump shot, blocked by Tyreek Scott-Grayson  
13:33   Offensive rebound by Johnny Juzang  
13:27   EJ Montgomery missed jump shot, blocked by Will Butler  
13:25   Defensive rebound by Will Butler  
13:16 +2 Tyreek Scott-Grayson made layup 36-46
12:56   Keion Brooks Jr. missed jump shot  
12:54   Offensive rebound by Immanuel Quickley  
12:48 +2 Immanuel Quickley made layup 36-48
12:29   Traveling violation turnover on Tyreek Scott-Grayson  
12:16   Shooting foul on Kassim Nicholson  
12:16 +1 Immanuel Quickley made 1st of 2 free throws 36-49
12:16 +1 Immanuel Quickley made 2nd of 2 free throws 36-50
12:00 +2 Tyreek Scott-Grayson made dunk 38-50
11:43   Immanuel Quickley missed jump shot  
11:41   Offensive rebound by Nick Richards  
11:38 +2 Nick Richards made dunk 38-52
11:25   Tyreek Scott-Grayson missed 3-pt. jump shot  
11:23   Defensive rebound by Nick Richards  
11:23   Personal foul on Will Butler  
11:23 +1 Nick Richards made 1st of 2 free throws 38-53
11:23 +1 Nick Richards made 2nd of 2 free throws 38-54
11:05   Makhtar Gueye missed layup  
11:03   Defensive rebound by Keion Brooks Jr.  
10:49   Tyrese Maxey missed layup  
10:47   Defensive rebound by Tamell Pearson  
10:43   Personal foul on Tyrese Maxey  
10:36   Makhtar Gueye missed layup, blocked by EJ Montgomery  
10:34   Defensive rebound by EJ Montgomery  
10:24 +2 Johnny Juzang made jump shot, assist by Tyrese Maxey 38-56
10:08   Jordan Brinson missed 3-pt. jump shot  
10:05   Offensive rebound by UAB  
9:55 +2 Jordan Brinson made layup, assist by Antonio Ralat 40-56
9:54   Shooting foul on Kahlil Whitney  
9:54   Jordan Brinson missed free throw  
9:54   Defensive rebound by Nick Richards  
9:37   EJ Montgomery missed jump shot  
9:35   Defensive rebound by Antonio Ralat  
9:22   Makhtar Gueye missed 3-pt. jump shot  
9:20   Defensive rebound by Immanuel Quickley  
9:01   Offensive foul on Nick Richards  
9:01   Turnover on Nick Richards  
8:47 +2 Jalen Benjamin made layup 42-56
8:47   Shooting foul on Ashton Hagans  
8:47 +1 Jalen Benjamin made free throw 43-56
8:21   Kahlil Whitney missed jump shot, blocked by Tyreek Scott-Grayson  
8:19   Defensive rebound by Jalen Benjamin  
8:16   Bad pass turnover on Jalen Benjamin  
7:58 +2 EJ Montgomery made layup, assist by Ashton Hagans 43-58
7:38 +2 Tyreek Scott-Grayson made layup 45-58
7:22   Bad pass turnover on Immanuel Quickley  
7:04   Tyreek Scott-Grayson missed layup  
7:02   Defensive rebound by Tyrese Maxey  
6:51 +2 Tyrese Maxey made layup 45-60
6:32 +2 Jalen Benjamin made layup, assist by Tyreek Scott-Grayson 47-60
6:11 +2 EJ Montgomery made dunk, assist by Keion Brooks Jr. 47-62
6:05   Traveling violation turnover on Tamell Pearson  
5:59   EJ Montgomery missed hook shot  
5:57   Defensive rebound by Tavin Lovan  
5:42   Tavin Lovan missed layup  
5:40   Defensive rebound by Immanuel Quickley  
5:23 +2 Tyrese Maxey made layup 47-64
5:02   Tamell Pearson missed 3-pt. jump shot  
5:00   Defensive rebound by Kentucky  
4:48   Ashton Hagans missed layup  
4:46   Offensive rebound by Ashton Hagans  
4:46   Personal foul on Kassim Nicholson  
4:46 +1 Ashton Hagans made 1st of 2 free throws 47-65
4:46 +1 Ashton Hagans made 2nd of 2 free throws 47-66
4:32   Bad pass turnover on Jalen Benjamin, stolen by Ashton Hagans  
4:29   Shooting foul on Tamell Pearson  
4:29   Ashton Hagans missed 1st of 2 free throws  
4:29 +1 Ashton Hagans made 2nd of 2 free throws 47-67
4:05 +3 Tyreek Scott-Grayson made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Jordan Brinson 50-67
3:39   Ashton Hagans missed 3-pt. jump shot  
3:37   Defensive rebound by Jude Akabueze  
3:12 +3 Jalen Benjamin made 3-pt. jump shot 53-67
2:45   Bad pass turnover on Immanuel Quickley, stolen by Tyreek Scott-Grayson  
2:31   Makhtar Gueye missed 3-pt. jump shot  
2:29   Offensive rebound by Jalen Benjamin  
2:25   Jalen Benjamin missed layup  
2:23   Defensive rebound by Tyrese Maxey  
2:21 +2 Keion Brooks Jr. made dunk, assist by Tyrese Maxey 53-69
1:55 +3 Jalen Benjamin made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Jordan Brinson 56-69
1:21   Shot clock violation turnover on Kentucky  
1:10 +2 Jordan Brinson made layup 58-69
44.0   Tyrese Maxey missed 3-pt. jump shot  
42.0   Defensive rebound by Makhtar Gueye  
29.0   Jude Akabueze missed hook shot  
27.0   Defensive rebound by Nick Richards  
0.0   End of period  
Key Players
M. Gueye
5 F
A. Hagans
0 G
29.0 Min. Per Game 29.0
13.7 Pts. Per Game 13.7
5.3 Ast. Per Game 5.3
4.3 Reb. Per Game 4.3
30.0 Field Goal % 45.0
7.1 Three Point % 25.0
66.7 Free Throw % 86.8
  Defensive rebound by Nick Richards 27.0
  Jude Akabueze missed hook shot 29.0
  Defensive rebound by Makhtar Gueye 42.0
  Tyrese Maxey missed 3-pt. jump shot 44.0
+ 2 Jordan Brinson made layup 1:10
  Shot clock violation turnover on Kentucky 1:21
+ 3 Jalen Benjamin made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Jordan Brinson 1:55
+ 2 Keion Brooks Jr. made dunk, assist by Tyrese Maxey 2:21
  Defensive rebound by Tyrese Maxey 2:23
  Jalen Benjamin missed layup 2:25
  Offensive rebound by Jalen Benjamin 2:29
Team Stats
Points 58 69
Field Goals 24-58 (41.4%) 26-55 (47.3%)
3-Pointers 8-16 (50.0%) 5-15 (33.3%)
Free Throws 2-5 (40.0%) 12-16 (75.0%)
Total Rebounds 26 40
Offensive 6 10
Defensive 18 25
Team 2 5
Assists 11 19
Steals 3 2
Blocks 3 3
Turnovers 12 11
Fouls 18 13
Technicals 0 0
19 PTS, 2 REB, 4 AST