SUPER SENIORS: Louisville has relied heavily on its seniors.
No. 19 Kentucky is looking to avoid a third straight loss when it hosts No. 3 Louisville on Saturday.
While the Cards (11-1, 2-0) were able to put up 31 shots compared to the Wildcats 23, the Cats take a 32-24 lead going into halftime. Yet, it will be the Wildcats standing in the end after conquering the No. 3-ranked Cardinals with a razor-thin victory.
"I am always going to do what it takes to win", said Maxey. "They might have had their bags packed, but as I told them we can't pack our minds before the deal is done". "And again, it's because they're really, really good defensively. If he (the official) had called a block, I don't know what would have happened".
The freshman erupted for a career-high 27 points, the most by a Kentucky player against the Cardinals since Jodie Meeks scored 28 back in 2009. For a while he seemed destined for all the praise with clutch shots during a back-and-forth second half before his teammate picked up the load in the extra session.
The Cats begin the second half fouling a lot more than the first half. "We just had to get stops". Louisville ranks 16th in rebound rate, while the Wildcats are 26th.
Kentucky (8-3) dropped two games last week in Las Vegas, falling to Utah and Ohio State.
Duke (11-1) played its second game in a row without point guard Tre Jones, who has a mild sprain of the left foot. The Wildcats rescuing them one more time, this time with a 78-70 overtime decision before 20,437 at Rupp Arena.
Even in a sigh of defeat, Louisville head coach Chris Mack couldn't help but tip his hat off to Maxey. Make a few of those maybe the ending is different. Keion Brooks tried tipping in Maxey's miss at the buzzer, but the ball rattled in and out to send the game to overtime.
In the second, Louisville would go on a large run erasing a 14 point deficit getting within one point of the Cats with about 13 minutes left.
For the Cards, Enoch finished the game with 18 points and five rebounds and Sutton finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
"They did a great job of pressuring the wings, especially Jordan", Sutton said. "I talked with our coaching staff and they said, you just have to forget about it and play".
The game remained scoreless for three minutes early in the half until freshman Tyrese Maxey hits a three-pointer to give United Kingdom (8-3, 0-0) their first lead.
Louisville returns to Atlantic Coast Conference play seeking a 3-0 start when it hosts Florida State on January 4.
Kentucky (9-3) opens SEC play on January 4 at home vs. Missouri.
The graduate transfer is expecting a special environment when the No. 19 Wildcats play host to No. 3 Louisville on Saturday at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Ky.
Kentucky guard Tyrese Maxey reacts after making a basket during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Michigan State early Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2019, in NY.