Wenyen Gabriel leads UK past Bama 86-63
ST. LOUIS (AP) – Wenyen Gabriel shot 7-for-7 on 3s and matched his career high with 23 points, sending Kentucky past Collin Sexton and Alabama 86-63 Saturday in the Southeastern Conference Tournament semifinals.
The fourth-seeded Wildcats (23-10) advanced to play the winner of the game between No. 13 Tennessee and Arkansas.
Kentucky shot 64 percent from the field, up from its 42.6 percent clip against Georgia on Friday and its season average of 46.5. The Wildcats dominated on the defensive end as well, using its unmatched length to body up ninth-seeded Alabama (19-15) all game.
Sexton, who beat Texas A&M with a last-second shot on Thursday and then led a second-half charge to beat Auburn on Friday, scored 21 points on 6-for-14 shooting. John Petty added 18 points on 6-for-11 shooting.
The Tide simply couldn’t stop the Wildcats, especially from long range. Kentucky shot 12 of 18 on 3s and compiled 20 assists.
Alabama: Playing three games in three days definitely looked to have fatigued the Crimson Tide early. Alabama might have played itself into the NCAA Tournament with its runaway victory over No. 16 Auburn.
Kentucky: The Wildcats are tall, fast and playing in front of a sea of blue. They look solid on the defensive end and when they’re shooting above 60 percent, they’re one of the scariest teams in the country.
Alabama will wait until Sunday to find out its postseason fate.
Kentucky plays in the SEC title game for the automatic bid to the NCAAs.
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