LEXINGTON — John Petty Jr. scored 23 points, including four of Alabama’s 14 3-pointers, Jaden Shackleford added 18 points and Alabama never trailed Kentucky to earn an 85-65 rout Tuesday night in a matchup of the Southeastern Conference’s top two unbeaten teams.
The Crimson Tide (10-3, 5-0 SEC) won their fifth consecutive game to remain atop the conference. They never trailed, and after the second-place Wildcats tied the game at 17-all, soon answered with consecutive 3s by Shackleford, Petty and Alex Reese (eight points) to regain the lead for good. The Tide led 67-47 with 6:49 remaining.
"Not one of our players played well. I obviously didn’t coach well," UK coach John Calipari said. "But what I told them after is I’m going to find five guys who will fight and that’s who I’m going to play. We got beat every which way but loose.”
Petty was was a big part of that, going 4-of-7 from behind the arc and 9-of-15 overall as Alabama snapped an eight-game losing streak at Rupp Arena with its first win since Jan. 14, 2006 (68-64). Shackleford was 6-of-15 shooting including two 3s, among seven players to hit at least one from deep as the Tide finished 14-of-30. It marked their second-highest total this season and the eighth time they've reached double digits.
“It’s really like playing a pick-up game the way they play," UK's Dontaie Allen said. "We knew going into this game that it was like a hooper’s game.”
Alabama's 3-point shooting was slightly better than their overall percentage (31 of 68, 46%). Joshua Primo had 12 points with a 3 for the Tide.
"Did we have anybody who could stay in front of anybody?" Calipari asked. "My hope is this is a knockoff game. They made open shots, they were physical going to the basket, they were making plays at the rim. This may be one that you burn the tape. My hope is this isn't who we are."
Isaiah Jackson had 14 points off the bench, Devin Askew 12 points and Keion Brooks Jr. 10 for Kentucky (4-7, 3-1), which had won its previous three contests.
The Wildcats controlled the boards 44-36 and recorded nine blocks but played catchup throughout against Alabama's outside shooting and fast pace. They finished 21 of 61 from the field, including 4 of 18 from long range.