LEXINGTON, Ky. (UK Athletics)- Quade Green came off the bench to score a season-high 17 points, including five in the final 90 seconds, to help No. 10 Kentucky hold off VMI 92-82 on Sunday night.
Leading by 19 midway through the second half, the Wildcats (3-1) had to work to put away the stubborn Keydets, who made 12 second-half 3-pointers and got within 85-79 with 1:49 remaining. Green answered with a 3-pointer 19 seconds later and Ashton Hagans made a free throw for a 10-point edge.
Tyler Creammer responded with the Keydets’ final 3 to get within 89-82 before Green made two free throws with 33 seconds left. PJ Washington (19 points) made a free throw with 17 seconds left to seal Kentucky’s third consecutive win.
Reid Travis matched a season high with 22 points for the Wildcats, who won their second game of the Ohio Valley Hardwood Showcase. That total included 10 in the second half while playing with protective glasses after being poked in the eye in the first.
Bubba Parham had career highs of 10 3-pointers for 35 points for VMI (3-2), who made 19 of 38 from long range. Garrett Gilkeson and Creammer each added 13 for the Keydets.
The matchup was the first between the schools since the Keydets upset the Wildcats 111-103 in the 2008-09 season opener.
Kentucky should maintain its spot in the top 10 despite a win that was closer than expected.
VMI: The Keydets entered the contest having made 25 of 51 3-pointers the past two outings and started hot with 6-of-9 shooting from long range. But they couldn’t match Kentucky in the paint or on the boards, and couldn’t keep the Wildcats off the foul line.
Kentucky: The Wildcats shot 49 percent and converted 29 of 35 from the line. They also dominated rebounding 43-22 and paint points 42-14, all of which were needed to offset the Keydets’ perimeter game and Parham.
VMI hosts Kentucky Christian on Tuesday in the first meeting between the schools.
Kentucky hosts Winthrop on Wednesday in the first of two games sandwiched around Thanksgiving.