Evansville Purple Aces vs. Kentucky Wildcats Pick & Prediction NOV 12TH 2019

Stadium: Rupp Arena Lexington
Logo Evansville Purple Aces
Logo Kentucky Wildcats

137.5o -110
-6.5 -110



After recording a marquee win, Kentucky will continue its journey through the otherwise soft non-conference portion of its schedule when it hosts Evansville on Tuesday. The Wildcats followed up their 69-62 win over No. 1 Michigan State to open the season with a 91-49 rout of Eastern Kentucky on Friday.

Junior forward Nick Richards endured a sluggish opener versus the Spartans before posting 21 points and 10 rebounds against the Colonels. "So much better than a year ago...He's in the greatest shape he's ever been, and he has built his own confidence," Kentucky coach John Calipari told reporters of the 6-11 Richards. "It doesn't matter what I say now." Kentucky is in the early stages of a stretch in which it plays eight straight games at Rupp Arena, the first seven of which come against non-power conference opponents. The Aces sit second on that list and head to Lexington after opening the season with a 79-75 win over Ball State on Saturday.

TV: 7 p.m. ET, SEC Network

ABOUT EVANSVILLE (1-0): Sophomore forward DeAndre Williams had to sit out all of last season after being ruled ineligible by the NCAA, but made the most of his long-awaited debut by scoring 26 points on 11-of-14 from the field against Ball State. "The points kind of just came to me in the flow of the offense," Williams told the school website. "I was making shots and my teammates were giving me good passes." Junior guard Sam Cunliffe, who played for Arizona State and Kansas before sitting out last season, had 17 points in his debut for the Aces.

ABOUT KENTUCKY (2-0): After scoring 26 points in the win over the Spartans, freshman guard Tyrese Maxey was held to nine in Friday's win. Senior forward Nate Sestina notched his first double-double with the Wildcats by posting 12 points and 11 rebounds to go along with two blocks and two steals against Eastern Kentucky. He also had one of just two 3-pointers made by Kentucky in 14 attempts as a team Friday.


1. Maxey and sophomore G Immanuel Quickley are both 14-for-15 from the foul line on the season.

2. The Aces allowed 18 first-half points versus Ball State before giving up 57 after halftime.

3. Despite being separated by fewer than 200 miles, this marks the first meeting between the programs.

PREDICTION: Kentucky 86, Evansville 59

Evansville Purple Aces vs. Kentucky Wildcats

Kentucky's reign as the nation's No. 1 team will last only one week as Evansville shocked the Wildcats 67-64 on Tuesday night in Lexington, Ky.

The Purple Aces (2-0), coached by Walter McCarty of Kentucky's 1996 NCAA championship team, were in contention from the start. Evansville never led by more than eight points, but it never trailed over the final 11 minutes. The Aces held the lead for 29:31 compared to just 5:44 for the Wildcats.

K.J. Riley and Sam Cunliffe paced Evansville with 18 and 17 points, respectively. Cunliffe, who also grabbed six rebounds, calmly swished two free throws with six seconds remaining for the final points.

Evansville shot only 38.3 percent but won the rebounding battle, 38-35, and made 12 of its free throw attempts.

Kentucky (2-1) shot 37.0 percent, its worst effort of the young season. The Wildcats made only 4 of 17 shots from 3-point range.

Immanuel Quickley topped Kentucky with 16 points while Tyrese Maxey added 15, with each making 5 of 12 shots from the field. They were the only UK players in double figures. Starting forward E.J. Montgomery missed his second straight game because of an ankle injury.

The loss was a rarity for Kentucky while ranked No. 1. The Wildcats dropped to 220-31 when playing as the top-ranked team, including 69-8 under coach John Calipari.

Evansville grabbed the lead at 18-16 with 10:28 in the first half on a 3-pointer by Cunliffe and held it the rest of the half for a 34-30 advantage at intermission. The Wildcats committed 11 turnovers in the half and had four key players -- Ashton Hagans, Nate Sestina, Nick Richards and Maxey -- out for much of the half with two fouls each.

In the second half, Kentucky finally overtook Evansville at 48-46 with 11:17 remaining, but the Aces answered with 3-pointer by Shamar Givance. They led the rest of the way.

Riley scored nine of Evansville's final 21 points after the Aces reclaimed the lead.

--Field Level Media