MVP Sports Channel

Kentucky Shoots Down Iowa State, Advances to Sweet Sixteen

It was just over a week ago in the SEC title game that Kentucky‘s inability to sink their outside shots cost them the game against Vanderbilt. Against Iowa State yesterday, in the round of 32, they did just about everything possible to prove that loss was only a fluke.

Although Iowa State kept it close for a time, Kentucky exploded in the second half. Coming out of the break, the Wildcats went 6 for 6 from beyond the arc, and launched a 20-2 run that all but put the game away. Sophomore guard Doron Lamb, who had gone 1-7 against the Commodores, led the way from downtown, hitting 5 of 7 shots from range and tallying 16 points on the night in only 20 minutes of floor time. Senior Darius Miller, one of Kentucky‘s few bright spots in their loss to Vandy, continued his strong play, adding 19 on 7-11 from the field, including 3 of 6 from long range. All told Kentucky hit 10 of 20 from distance, issuing a warning to anyone hoping to employ the defensive strategy used by Vanderbilt in the SEC title game. Giving this ‘Cats team open looks from outside is a dangerous proposition.

“When they’re hitting shots like that,” Iowa State head coach Fred Hoiberg said, “It’s pretty impossible to beat them.”

Freshman point guard Marquis Teague led the team in scoring, going 10-14 from the field for 24 points, while adding 7 assists. Anthony Davis Grabbed 12 boards to go along with 5 assists, 15 points and 2 blocked shots. All told, four of the seven Kentucky players who saw time on the court scored in double figures.

For Iowa State it was a different story. The Cyclones struggled to hit their shots. Out of 22 attempts from 3-point range, Iowa State managed to get only 3 shots to fall. Senior guard Chris Allen finished the night just 1 of 10 on three point shots. The teams star player, sophomore forward Royce White, added 23 points on the night but it wasn’t enough to get by the #1 seed Wildcats.

Up next for Kentucky is a rematch with the team that gave them their first of only two losses on the season, the Indiana Hoosiers. If Kentucky can repeat last nights offensive performance they’ll be tough to beat.

As Doron Lamb pointed out, “We can’t lose when we’re all making shots”.

It’s hard to argue with him. At this point Kentucky may be the only team that can beat Kentucky. But of all the teams in the tournament, Indiana undoubtedly has the best case to the contrary, having bested the Wildcats once already.

In what should be an exciting game, the 3-point shot will likely continue to be key.

“Everybody, they want to talk about our 3-point shooting.” Calipari said. “If you make us shoot ‘3s,’ we will shoot them”.

And if they continue to make them, It’s hard not to see Kentucky rolling into the Elite 8.

Facebook Twitter Email