One of the biggest factors in Kentucky’s comeback win? Their 18-18 mark from the free throw line in the second half. Not only did the Cats bully their way to the line, they were perfect from it. That’s one heck of an accomplishment for the youngest team in college basketball history*.
“It’s just mentality,” Kevin Knox said afterwards. “You step to the line and think you’re going to make the shot. That’s something we work on everyday in practice, before practice, after practice, before shoot around, after shoot around. Just making free throws because that’s what the game comes down to. If you make your free throws, you can win almost any close game, and that’s what we did in the second half.”
Knox was 7-8 from the line on his way to a career-high 34 points. He credited his high percentage to the 500 free throws he’s been hitting in the gym as of late.
“Every day since I’ve said that, I’ve been in the gym making sure I get my makes in. It’s paying off. I’m going to keep doing that, working hard, keep working out with the coaches, keep getting up shots, and it’s going to pay off in games.”
Another huge shoutout to Nick Richards, who was 5-6 from the free-throw line tonight. The big man has struggled to score in recent games, but he came up big in the clutch tonight, finishing with nine points and eight rebounds.
“I was just trying to play to the best of my abilities. The coaches just sat me down and talked to me about my energy. My energy will take over the game. It’s a big part of my game.”
*According to John Calipari