Kentucky blows past Utah, 88-61

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (UK Athletics)- Freshman Keldon Johnson scored 24 points, including five 3-pointers in the first half, and No. 19 Kentucky beat Utah 88-61 on Saturday.

Johnson made a career-high six shots from long range on seven attempts as Kentucky made a season-high 12 3-pointers.

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Tyler Herro scored 17 points, Reid Travis added 16 and Immanuel Quickley chipped in with 10 for the Wildcats (8-2), who lost their best 3-point shooter when Quade Green decided to transfer nine games into his sophomore season.

Coming off an 84-83 overtime loss to Seton Hall at Madison Square Garden last weekend, the Wildcats trailed 10-2 five minutes into the game, but Kentucky outscored the Utes 28-9 to push the lead to 30-19. The Wildcats did not trail again.

Johnson highlighted the decisive run with four 3-pointers, including three straight, and finished with 15 points in the opening half.

Both Gach led the Utes (4-5) with 22 points, followed by Jayce Johnson with 11.

BIG PICTURE

Utah: The Utes lost their eighth straight game to the Wildcats. Kentucky defeated Utah 78-69 in the 1998 NCAA title game in San Antonio. The Wildcats beat Utah six times in the 1990s, including four times in the NCAA Tournament. The Utes out-rebounded Kentucky 31-23, becoming the first team to top the Wildcats on the glass this season.

Kentucky: The Wildcats have picked up steam from behind the arc after starting the season slowly. Kentucky has made at least five 3-pointers in each of the past four games. The trend began when Kentucky connected on 10 3s in a 90-44 win over Monmouth on Nov. 28.

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