No. 1 Kentucky upset by Evansville

13 Novembre, 2019, 14:25 | Auteur: Adelaide Bullion
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Evansville showed no fear either of Kentucky or venerable Rupp Arena, where the Wildcats had been ideal at ruining visitors' dreams of pulling off the seemingly impossible.

Projected to be the eighth-place team in the Missouri Valley Conference preseason poll, the Purple Aces traveled to Lexington on Tuesday and knocked off No. 1 Kentucky, 67-64, delivering the Wildcats their first loss of the season and underscoring the parity expected at the top of the college basketball landscape in 2019-20. Leading the way for the Evansville Purple Aces was sophomore forward Deandre Williams as he fell just shy of a double-double with 26 points and 9 rebounds.

Those expectations never materialized as Evansville (2-0) controlled the younger Wildcats on both ends of the floor. Wildcats guard Tyrese Maxey missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer.

The preseason No. 2 in the AP Poll, Kentucky ascended to No. 1 with a 69-62 win over Michigan State to open the season.

It's the first time in the AP poll era that two No. 1 teams have lost in November.

An Evansville native, McCarty grew up an avid fan of Kentucky basketball and played at the school from 1993 to 1996 under then-coach Rick Pitino. I told them, 'We're gonna go in there and get them. "They made shots, and that's tough to do in this building". My hat's off to them. "He had his team better prepared than I had my team". The team's top scorers, Maxey and sophomore Immanuel Quickly, combined for 31 points but went only 10-of-24 from the field.

Cunliffe, a redshirt junior guard who played at Arizona State and Kansas, did most of his damage with 15 first-half points off the bench.

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"It's fantastic. Come to a school like this and you talk about doing things like this, making history, playing in front of these bright lights", Cunliffe said. "We prepared the right way". KJ Riley and Sam Cunliffe led the way for the Purple Aces with 18 and 17 points, respectively.

Evansville made nine of 30 3-point attempts while shooting 38% from the field to Kentucky's 37%. "We may look back in a couple weeks and say, 'This is the greatest thing that ever happened to this team.' We also may look back in a couple weeks and say, 'What in the heck? We saw that and we took advantage".

Evansville was predictably amped in the locker room after the game. Guys came out and gave their all. My guys, I got a good group of guys, I really do. "They deserved to win".

Evansville spent 29:34 in front, while Kentucky led for just 5:44. 1 Michigan State. That allowed Kentucky to take over the top spot, and it followed up that win by swatting aside Eastern Kentucky, 91-49.

"To be able to come back home and play against the No. 1 team in the country and be able to perform the way that we did, I don't know if anything matches this other than winning a national championship", he said.

Evansville hosts IU Kokomo on Thursday.

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