LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Walter McCarty had 8 points and 10 rebounds in a 1996 Final Four win for Kentucky over John Calipari and UMass. Now McCarty has an even bigger win over Calipari.
Evansville (2-0) handed Calipari and #1 UK (2-1) a 67-64 loss on Tuesday night in Rupp Arena. McCarty is in his second season as the Purple Aces head coach.
The loss snapped Kentucky’s 52 game home court winning streak against unranked non-conference opponents.
“First of all, thank you to John for allowing us to come here and play this game,” McCarty said on the SEC Network. “It was an awesome opportunity. Our guys really worked hard, were engaged. We played a heck of a game tonight."
KJ Riley led the Purple Aces with 18 points. They were 9-30 from three and 12-13 from the line.
Kentucky shot just 37% from the field and hit just 4-17 from three. Evansville led 34-30 at the half.
Immanuel Quickley led the Cats with 16. Tyrese Maxey added 15.
“Walter and their team deserved to win,” UK head coach John Calipari said. “If we would have somehow pulled it out, you know, it would have been, kind of wouldn’t even have been fair because they fought us the whole game and they were the tougher team. They executed, they made shots and three’s and free throws, my hats off to them. It’s hard to do that in this building.”
Evansville led 65-64, when Sam Cunliffe calmly sank two free throws with 6.8 seconds left and then Maxey’s three-point attempt came up short just before the buzzer.
It is the first ever win over a #1 ranked team for Evansville.
“I don’t know how much this does for us, it’s a great win for our program, but I think it’s, for our team, we had to say, hey if we can come in here and just stick together, good things can happen. That’s what we take from this, it was us, it felt like us against the world,” McCarty said.
Up next for the Cats is a visit from Utah Valley (1-0) on Monday night at 7 p.m.