Kentucky Basketball: Monk, Briscoe Shine as Cats Throttle Spartans

Kentucky Basketball Rolls Over Sparty, Monk Leads Way with 23 Points on 7 3-Pointers; KY Guards Score 59 of team’s 69 Points.

Though Kentucky’s Malik Monk had yet to find the range consistently in the Cats’ first two games of the season, the highly-touted freshman showed no signs of buckling what is basketball’s greatest stage. Monk shot 7-12 from 3-point range on his way to 23 points to lead all scorers, leading second-ranked Kentucky to a 69-48 blowout win over Michigan State in the State Farm Champions Classic in NYC’s Madison Square Garden.

Nov 15, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Kentucky Wildcats guard Malik Monk (5) controls the ball against Michigan State Spartans guard Eron Harris (14) during the second half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Isaiah Briscoe was again the steadying force, driving to the basket and finishing in transition to add 21 points for the Cats. De’Aaron Fox added 12 points and 5 assists, to go along with 2 steals and 4 rebounds.

It was all guard play for the Cats, as Fox, Monk, Briscoe and Dominique Hawkins poured in 59 of Kentucky’s 69 points, with Monk and Briscoe carrying much of the load. Bam Adebayo was limited after getting in foul trouble much of the night, the second time the big freshman has lost minutes to foul trouble in three games this season. Meanwhile, Derek Willis was largely ineffective, as was Isaac Humphries and Sasha Killeya-Jones. Wenyen Gabriel chipped in 4 points off the bench, while Hawkins gave some solid minutes, recording 3 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 steal.

But the night belonged to Monk, who entered the game shooting 36-percent from the field, including only 25-percent from 3-point range. However, Monk found his stroke tonight in the Garden, shooting 8-17 from the field, including 7-12 from 3-point range, looking like Stephen Curry at times, hitting deep 3s that sparked Kentucky runs and helped to break the game open.

This article originally appeared on