Kentucky Basketball: First Half Notes versus Texas A&M

Kentucky Basketball: Pressure defense and transition buckets have enabled the Cats to jump out to a 50-27 first-half lead over Texas A&M

Jan 3, 2017; Lexington, KY, USA; Kentucky Wildcats guard De

The Kentucky Wildcats have forced 15 first-half turnovers, which have helped the Cats shoot 57-percent from the floor, to jump out to a big 50-27 lead over Texas A&M at the break.

During one stretch early in the half, the Cats forced five consecutive turnovers, leading to several spectacular dunks in transition, part of a 15-0 run capped by ridiculous Malik Monk slam.

There, Isaiah Briscoe stole and saved the ball from going out of bound, throwing ahead to De’Aaron Fox, who immediately gave it up to Monk for the a one-handed tomahawk that caused the crowd here at Rupp Arena to erupt.

While Kentucky came into this game having worked on and stressing rebounding, Texas A&M’s big frontline has been as advertised, at times. The Aggies are out-rebounding Kentucky 17-12 at the break, including seven offensive boards, but much of that margin has come due to the work of guard Admon Gilder, who has five fist-half rebounds.

Conversely, highly-touted center Tyler Davis has just one rebound thus far, as Bam Adebayo and company have done solid work thus far.

For Kentucky, it has been pretty balanced scoring to this point, with Monk, 13, and Fox, 10, leading the way. Briscoe is again playing a complete game, posting five points and six assists at the break.

Since the early 15-0 run, Kentucky has controlled the game, limiting the Aggies low post presence with stingy on-ball defense. In transition, the Cats have been devastating as usual; there are just few teams that can consistently get back to stop Kentucky on the break.

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