Cats Put A Texas-Sized 79-44 Whupping On Abilene Christian

Mar 21, 2019

With injured star PJ Washington watching from the bench, second-seeded Kentucky had no problem with 15th-seeded Abilene Christian in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament.

Kentucky's PJ Washington, left, wearing a cast on his left foot, and Reid Travis (22) cheer for their team during the second half against Abilene Christian in a first-round game in the NCAA men’s college basketball tournament Thursday, March 21, 2019, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton)

Keldon Johnson scored 25 points, Reid Travis added 18 and the Wildcats from the Southeastern Conference overwhelmed the overmatched Wildcats from the Southland Conference, 79-44.

Big Blue, as expected, dominated every matchup. The Cats led 39-13 at halftime and opened a 30-point lead shortly after the break. Tyler Herro chipped in 14 points for the powerhouse program from the Bluegrass State.

Kentucky advanced to the second round for the ninth time in as many NCAA appearances under John Calipari, and will face the Seton Hall-Wofford winner.

Jaren Lewis led Abilene Christian with 17 points.

The biggest mismatch came in the backcourt, where Kentucky's size and length posed problems all night. Abilene guards Payten Ricks and Damien Daniels scored a combined 10 points, with the 6-foot-2 Ricks hitting 3 of 11 shots and the 5-foot-7 Daniels missing all five of his.