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Kentucky uses own 3-point barrage to defeat Virginia Tech, 93-86

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Hamidou Diallo slams home a dunk during the first half of Kentucky’s win over Virginia Tech Saturday. Diallo finished with 20 points. (Tammie Brown/Kentucky Today)

By Keith Taylor
Kentucky Today

Virginia Tech is one of the top 3-point shooting teams in the nation. Kentucky proved it can shoot behind the arc, too.

The eighth-ranked Wildcats (9-1) made 11 3-pointers and defeated the Hokies at their own game with a 93-86 victory Saturday at Rupp Arena. Kentucky snapped Virginia Tech’s seven-game winning streak and held the Hokies to under 90 points for the fifth time this year.

Kevin Knox, who scored a season-low four points a week ago, paced the Wildcats with 21 points and scored 15 of those in the second half. Knox has scored at least 20 points in three of the past four games.

Down 47-41 at the half, the Wildcats stormed back and opened the second half with a 13-2 run to reclaim the lead at 54-51. Knox was largely responsible for the Wildcats’ flurry and scored 11 of his team’s first 13 points to open the second half.

Hamidou Diallo followed Knox with 20 points and knocked down a career-high four shots from long range, including a pair of clutch treys down the stretch. Diallo has scored 43 points in the past two games.

Diallo, Knox and Quade Green combined for eight to Kentucky’s 11 shots from behind the arc. Green followed Knox and Diallo with 17 points and PJ Washington tallied 11 as four Kentucky players reached double figures.

Green, sporting glasses because of an eye injury he suffered in a win over Monmouth last week, came off the bench and led the Wildcats with 10 points in the opening half. Green and Hamidou Diallo made four of Kentucky’s seven shots from long range in the first half.

The Hokies, the top scoring team in the nation and second in three-point field goal percentage, made seven 3-pointers in the first half and led 47-41 at the break. Virginia managed just three treys in the final 20 minutes.

Virginia Tech outscored the Wildcats 15-2 in the final three minutes of the opening half, while Kentucky made just one field goal during that span to close out the opening half.

Kentucky matched the Hokies’ performance from long range and made seven treys on 13 attempts in the first half, but the late meltdown allowed Virginia Tech, which shot 62 percent in the first half and made their last five field goals of the half to build a lead.

Ahmed Hill paced Virginia Tech with 20 points and scored 12 of those in the first half. Justin Robinson followed Hill with 19 points, Kerry Blackshear had 18 and Justin Bibbs finished with 12.

Gametracker: Kentucky vs. UCLA at New Orleans, Saturday, 4 p.m. TV/Radio: CBS Sports, 98.1 FM, WBUL, Lexington.

Keith Taylor is sports editor for Kentucky Today. Reach him at keith.taylor@kentuckytoday.com or twitter @keithtaylor21.

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