Coming off upset loss, No. 10 Kentucky faces Arkansas
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The Kentucky Wildcats will try to rebound from a loss to unranked South Carolina earlier this week when they face another unranked SEC opponent, Arkansas, on Saturday in Fayetteville, Ark.
The 10th-ranked Wildcats (12-4, 3-1 SEC) lost Wednesday on a buzzer-beating 3-pointer after leading the Gamecocks by as many as 14 points in the second half.
Immanuel Quickley had 20 points and six rebounds off the bench to lead Kentucky, and Nick Richards had 15 points, seven rebounds and four blocked shots. But the Wildcats went cold down the stretch.
Coach John Calipari said inexperience played a part in the loss.
"The lack of discipline that we have, especially offensively," Calipari said. "Guys breaking off stuff, doing their own thing. ... You can't play that way in a big-time game. We had some guys that the game was a little bit above them. It gets no easier in this league. Every road game you play in this league is a hard game."
Kentucky's No. 10 ranking is almost sure to drop with the loss. Calipari said his team has to learn how to finish off teams.
"When you get a chance to get somebody to 20, you do it. This team does not do it. We haven't done it all year," he said. "This is Division I, major college, Power Five. Every possession matters. And when you get a chance to get somebody down, you do."
Kentucky has been a difficult team to figure out this season. The Wildcats have two wins over former top-five teams, Michigan State and Louisville. But they've lost to unranked Evansville, Utah and now South Carolina.
Arkansas (14-2, 3-1) is 10-0 at home this season after a 75-55 win over Vanderbilt on Wednesday. Guard Jimmy Whitt scored a career-high 30 points in the win.
"The amazing thing is I didn't call one play for him (Wednesday night)," Arkansas coach Eric Musselman said of Whitt to the Arkansas Democrat Gazette. "Not one play. He just figured out how to find open gaps, and he catches it and releases it over people. He's really one of the most efficient players and unique players that I've ever coached."
The Razorbacks, who have used the same starting lineup 15 times this season, are 3-1 in SEC play for the first time since the 2015-16 season. Arkansas is 14-2 overall for the first time since 1997-98.
Musselman on Thursday himself unveiled the white uniforms the Razorbacks will wear against Kentucky, which feature a razorback on the front.
The Razorbacks have won six of seven games overall this season, but have lost seven in a row to Kentucky in the all-time series. The last Razorbacks win was on Feb. 27, 2014 at Kentucky, a 71-67 overtime win.
The last Arkansas win over Kentucky in Fayetteville was about a month and a half earlier that same season.
--Field Level Media
Updated January 17, 2020