No. 7 West Virginia blows 17-point lead, loses to Kentucky
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — No. 7 West Virginia gave up a double-digit lead in the second half and lost 83-76 to visiting Kentucky in the Big 12/SEC Challenge on Saturday night.
Jevon Carter had 26 points for West Virginia (16-5), James “Beetle” Bolden added 17 points and Sagaba Konate had 13 points and seven blocked shots.
Freshman forward Kevin Knox scored 19 of his season-high 34 points in the second half, as Kentucky (16-5) overcame a 17-point deficit. The Wildcats made all 18 of their free-throw attempts after halftime.
Knox scored 12 points during a 21-2 run in the second half, capped by a dunk with 10 minutes, 39 seconds left for a 58-56 lead.
Hamidou Diallo added 13 points for the Wildcats.
Bolden, a Kentucky native who said he had been waiting for this opportunity to play his home-state school, hit a 3-pointer to tie the score at 74 with 1:23 left. But West Virginia didn't make another basket.
Knox's 3-pointer with 1:05 remaining put Kentucky ahead to stay. Nick Richards dunked off a rebound with 30 seconds left, and Quade Green and Wenyen Gabriel each made two free throws after that to seal the win.
The Wildcats beat a ranked team for the first time this season and have won two straight since dropping out of the AP Top 25 on Monday for the first time since March 2014.