LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - #9 Kentucky (3-1) avoided a second straight upset in Rupp Arena, holding off Utah Valley 82-74.
The Wolverines (3-2) got 22 points from TJ Washington, including 5-12 three’s. His triple with 3:25 left cut the Cats lead to just 68-67.
Kentucky answered when Ashton Hagans hit a driving Nate Sestina for a basket and a foul. Sestina completed the three-point play at the line. Kentucky hit 31-34 from the line in the game, a 91% clip.
“Our issue right now is you can’t go and make one three-point field goal,” UK head coach John Calipari said. “So we’ve got to go and figure out, okay, how are we going to do this?”
The Cats were 1-12 from the three point line. Utah Valley was 11-31.
Hagans led the way with a career-high 26 points. He also dished out five assists and pulled down five rebounds. Nick Richards added 21 points and 10 rebounds. Tyrese Maxey finished with 14 points, five rebounds and four assists. Sestina had eight points and 12 rebounds.
The Cats played again without EJ Montgomery and were also without Immanuel Quickley, who according to Calipari, was injured on the last play of practice on Sunday.
They host Mount St. Mary’s on Friday at 7 p.m.