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Kentucky advances to SEC Semifinals with 73-55 win over Alabama

This time around, the Wildcats never let Alabama get close.
Credit: AP
Alabama forward Galin Smith (30) shoots against Kentucky forward PJ Washington (25) in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game at the Southeastern Conference tournament Friday, March 15, 2019, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Kentucky Wildcats opened up their SEC Tournament slate with a win over the Alabama Crimson Tide to advance to the tournament semifinals.

The Wildcats' 73-55 victory not only kept their tournament championship hopes alive, but it also helped erase the bad taste from their regular season meeting in Tuscaloosa when the Crimson Tide stunned the Wildcats with a 77-75 win.

This time around, the Wildcats never let Alabama get close. After the Tide took a 6-4 lead to start the game, they would never lead again as Alabama quickly built a 15-point lead in the first 10 minutes.

The Cats welcomed back forward Reid Travis, who had been sidelined since he suffered an injury against Mizzou on Feb. 19. Travis would score his first points since the injury within the first minute of the second half, finishing the game with eight points to go along with seven rebounds and three blocks.

Freshman Tyler Herro led the Cats with 20 points and six assists and sophomore PJ Washington recorded a double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds, adding four assists and four blocks for good measure. Immanuel Quickley also chipped in 12 points off the bench for the Wildcats.

After scoring 22 points in Alabama's regular season upset, Tevin Mack was held scoreless by Kentucky, the guard missing all seven of his shots from the floor. Sophomore Alex Reese came off to the bench to lead all Alabama scorers with 15 points and senior Donta Hall chipped in 14 points.

Kentucky will play the winner of Tennessee-Mississippi State in the SEC Tournament Semifinals Saturday at 3:30.