Kentucky couldn’t get the job done tonight vs. UCLA, but the Big Blue Nation in Madison Square Garden did its part. Shoutout to the fans who made the trip to New York to cheer on the Cats. Your presence was heard! I hope you’re out enjoying the city right now, but if you’re upset and scrolling like the rest of us, here are some pictures from the game along with notes from the 63-53 loss from UK Athletics.
Kentucky vs. UCLA Game Notes
Final Scores: No. 16/14 UCLA 63, No. 13 Kentucky 53
Team Records and Series Notes
- Kentucky is now 7-3 on the season, ending a four-game win streak. UCLA has won seven in a row and is 10-2 on the season.
- The all-time series is tied 8-8, with UCLA winning two in a row.
- UCLA leads 6-5 at neutral sites, including 2-0 in games played in New York.
- Kentucky is 4-5 in the CBS Sports Classic. UK is 1-2 against UCLA in the event.
- Kentucky is 38-16 all-time in the New York City area, including 14-6 in the modern-day iteration of Madison Square Garden.
- Next for UK: the Wildcats play host to Florida A&M on Wednesday in the Unity Series game. Game time is 7 pm and it will be televised on the SEC Network.
- Kentucky limited UCLA to 63 points.
- UK is 208-10 (95.4%) under Calipari when keeping the opponent to 63 points or less, including 6-1 this season.
- UK had won its last 21 games when the opponent scored 63 or less, dating back to the 2020-21 season.
- UK had season lows with 32.8% from the field, 38.5% at the free throw line and 18 turnovers.
- Freshmen Chris Livingston had a season-high 14 points, his first game to lead the UK in scoring.
- Oscar Tshiebwe had eight points and 16 rebounds, his sixth straight game with at least a dozen boards. He also blocked three shots and had two steals.
- Shavir Wheeler had 11 points, his third straight game in double figures, and had a game-high six assists.
- Lance Ware provided a spark off the bench, with two points and season highs with five rebounds and three assists.
Coach John Calipari
- Calipari is 4-5 vs. UCLA.
- Calipari has an 817-244 all-time on-court record and a 372-104 mark in his 14th season at UK.
- UK is 67-46 (59.3%) against ranked competition under Calipari.
In the First Half
- Kentucky started the combination of Sahvir Wheeler, Cason Wallace, Antonio Reeves, Jacob Toppin and Oscar Tshiebwe for the fifth straight game. UK is now 4-1 with this lineup.
- CJ Frederick and Chris Livingston were UK’s first substitutes at the 15:12 mark.
- Tied at 7, UCLA steadily built a 33-20 advantage and never trailed again.
- late in the half, Lance Ware gave the Wildcats a spark on both ends of the court and UK went on a 7-0 run to pull within 33-27; a Bruin basket near the buzzer made it 35-27 at intermission.
- Scoring leaders were Wallace with seven points, Wheeler and Tshiebwe with six, and Tshiebwe had nine rebounds.
In the Second Half
- Kentucky opened the second stanza with Tshiebwe, Ware, Livingston, Wallace and Wheeler.
- Livingston scored eight early points as UK assembled a 10-2 spurt, tying it at 38.
- Tied at 40, UCLA went on a 6-0 run and the Bruins led the remainder of the game.
- Kentucky cut it to 55-53 with 4:31 to go, but the Wildcats went scoreless the rest of the way.