Rasir Bolton scored 24 points, Drew Timme added 22 and No. 2 Gonzaga defeated cold-shooting No. 4 Kentucky 88-72 Sunday night at the off-campus Spokane Arena.
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Rasir Bolton scored 24 points, Drew Timme added 22 and No. 2 Gonzaga defeated cold-shooting No. 4 Kentucky 88-72 Sunday night at the off-campus Spokane Arena.
Julian Strawther had 20 points and 14 rebounds for Gonzaga, who suffered his biggest loss since 2014 in a 93-74 loss to No. 11 Texas on Wednesday.
Oscar Tshiebwe had 20 points and 15 rebounds for Kentucky (3-2) but was in trouble for most of the second half.
Kentucky shot just 39% in the game compared to 56% for Gonzaga.
Gonzaga (3:1) dominated the first half. The Bulldogs led 25-15 by less than eight minutes in the first thanks to keeping the Wildcats on 4-of-22 shooting. But Gonzaga committed eight turnovers to keep Kentucky in the game.
Gonzaga put on a 14-3 run to extend his lead to 41-25 by halftime. Reigning Player of the Year Tshiebwe led all first-half scorers with 14 points.
Kentucky found their shooting contact in the second half with a 14-6 run to cut Gonzaga’s lead to 47-39. Kentucky’s Cason Wallace and Antonio Reeves then hit back-to-back 3-pointers to further reduce Gonzaga’s lead.
But Tshiebwe promptly conceded his fourth foul and prevailed around 13 minutes before the end. Timme went off for seven points and Gonzaga led 65-55 when Tshiebwe returned to the lineup.
Bolton hit four free throws and a 3-pointer to put Gonzaga to an 84-69 lead with 1:20 to go to end the game.
Kentucky coach John Calipari refused to play that game at Gonzaga’s home stadium, the confidential McCarthey Athletic Center. The Spokane Arena has doubled the capacity with around 12,000 seats and was packed. Gonzaga is 12-6 all-time at the arena and last played there in 2014.
Kentucky: Kentucky lost 86-77 to Michigan State in double overtime on Tuesday and defeated South Carolina State 106-63 on Thursday, making Sunday its third game in six days.
Gonzaga: The Bulldogs have avoided straight losses for the first time since 2018. They have been ranked in the top 5 in 52 consecutive polls.
Kentucky: host North Florida on Wednesday.
Gonzaga: Playing Thursday’s PK85 Invitational in Portland, Oregon at Portland State.
https://www.king5.com/article/sports/college/boltons-24-points-lead-no-2-gonzaga-over-no-4-kentucky/281-b74ecfdd-dfb1-44c0-9087-549a9be734b8 Bolton’s 24 points lead No. 2 Gonzaga over No. 4 Kentucky