John Petty Jr. scored 23 points, including four of Alabama’s 14 3-pointers, Jaden Shackleford added 18 points and Alabama never trailed Kentucky to earn an 85-65 rout Tuesday night in a matchup of the Southeastern Conference’s top two unbeaten teams.
The Crimson Tide (10-3, 5-0 SEC) won their fifth consecutive game to remain atop the conference. They never trailed, and after the second-place Wildcats tied the game at 17-all, soon answered with consecutive 3s by Shackleford, Petty and Alex Reese (eight points) to regain the lead for good. The Tide led 67-47 with 6:49 remaining.
Petty was 4 of 7 from behind the arc and 9 of 15 overall as Alabama snapped an eight-game losing streak at Rupp Arena with its first win since Jan. 14, 2006 (68-64). Shackleford was 6-of-15 shooting including two 3s, among seven players to hit at least one from deep as the Tide finished 14 of 30. It marked their second-highest total this season and the eighth time they’ve reached double digits.
Alabama’s 3-point shooting was slightly better than its overall percentage (31 of 68, 46%). Joshua Primo had 12 points with a 3 for the Tide.
Isaiah Jackson had 14 points off the bench, Devin Askew 12 points and Keion Brooks Jr. 10 for Kentucky (4-7, 3-1), which had won its previous three contests.
The Wildcats controlled the boards 44-36 and recorded nine blocks but played catchup throughout against Alabama’s outside shooting and fast pace. They finished 21 of 61 from the field, including 4 of 18 from long range.
Florida 72, Mississippi 63: Colin Castleton scored 21 points, grabbed a career-high 10 rebounds with a career-high seven blocked shots and Florida ended its two-game skid by beating Mississippi.
Romello White sank a pair of free throws with 4:32 remaining to give Ole Miss a 63-58 lead. From there, Florida (6-3, 3-2) proceeded to reel off 14 unanswered points and the Rebels never scored again.
Trailing 66-63 with 49.9 seconds to go, Ole Miss (6-5, 1-3) coach Kermit Davis drew a technical foul arguing the fifth foul called on White.
Tre Mann sank both technical foul shots as well as both free throws on the foul by White. Mann scored six straight in a 23-second stretch.
Mann scored 17 points making all eight of his foul shots and Noah Locke scored 15. The Gators took advantage of 21 foul calls — and Davis’ technical — on Ole Miss and made 22 of 26 at the foul line.
Devontae Shuler scored 19 points for the Rebels and White 10.