Hamidou Diallo’s three during the final minute of game play, gave the #8 Kentucky Wildcats some breathing room to help them defeat a veteran led Virginia Tech squad 93- 86 in an entertaining game in Rupp Arena Saturday Afternoon. Diallo finished the game with 20 points and 5 rebounds while shooting 4 of 7 from downtown.
Virginia Tech (9-2) went into the locker room ahead of the Wildcats (9-1) by six 47-41 after shooting great from both the field and the three-point line. The Hokies were 62% from the field on 18 of 29 shooting, while also shooting on fire from three going 7 of 12 for 58%. Virginia Tech also grabbed two more boards then the Wildcats taking advantage of a lackluster crowd during the first half. Junior Guard Ahmed Hill led VT in scoring going into the half with 12 points while shooting 3 of 4 from behind the arch.
The momentum begin to shift when Coach Calipari decided to extend the court with a 2-2-1 press which turned the Hokies over as UK regained the lead at the 16:13 mark at 52-51. Go Big Blue chants filled the arena at this put. The Wildcats never used the momentum in the game to create breathing room over the Hokies because they would revert back to their young play. The game was made up of runs and scoring droughts for the young cats.
The Final 1:42 of the game the Wildcats led the Hokies 83-80. Kevin Knox layup made it 85-80, but a quick three from Virginia Tech on next play would make it a one possession game at 85-83 until Diallo’s three with under 40 seconds to play would create a free throw shooting contest the rest of the way for the final outcome of 93-86. Kevin Knox would lead all scorers with 21 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists. VT’s Justin Robinson would finish just shy of a double-double with 19 points, 9 assists, and 5 rebounds in the defeat to the Wildcats.
Next up for the Wildcats is a CBS Sports Classic match up with the Bruins of UCLA in New Orleans on Saturday December 23 for a 4pm tip. The Hokies head home to face Presbyterian in a 7 pm start on December 19th.