Hagans scores 21, leads No. 8 Kentucky past Georgia Tech

Kentucky's Nick Richards, top left, dunks near Georgia Tech's Moses Wright (5) and James Banks III during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Lexington, Ky., Saturday, Dec. 14, 2019. (AP Photo/James Crisp)
Kentucky's Keion Brooks Jr., left, and Georgia Tech's Moses Wright go after a loose ball during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Lexington, Ky., Saturday, Dec. 14, 2019. (AP Photo/James Crisp)
Kentucky's EJ Montgomery, right, looks for an opening on Georgia Tech's Khalid Moore, left, during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Lexington, Ky., Saturday, Dec. 14, 2019. (AP Photo/James Crisp)
Kentucky's Ashton Hagans, right, shoots while pressured by Georgia Tech's James Banks III, left, during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Lexington, Ky., Saturday, Dec. 14, 2019. (AP Photo/James Crisp)
Georgia Tech's Moses Wright, center, looks for an opening on Kentucky's Keion Brooks Jr., right, and Kahlil Whitney, left, during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Lexington, Ky., Saturday, Dec. 14, 2019. (AP Photo/James Crisp)

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Ashton Hagans scored 21 points to lead No. 8 Kentucky to a 67-53 win over Georgia Tech on Saturday.

The Wildcats (8-1) won their sixth straight game going into a two-game trip to Las Vegas ahead of their Christmas break.

Kentucky coach John Calipari improved to 18-0 against his former assistants. Georgia Tech coach Josh Pastner was an assistant to Calipari at Memphis and took over there when Calipari was hired at Kentucky in 2009.

Hagans scored eight of Kentucky's first 11 points and led the Wildcats with 11 points in the first half. Hagans finished with seven assists and seven rebounds. Immanuel Quickley tied a career high with 16 points, Nick Richards scored 12 and Keion Brooks Jr. contributed 10 points off the bench.

Kentucky trailed 26-21 with 7 minutes remaining in the first half, but scored 13 of the next 15 points to regain the lead for good. Kentucky outscored the Yellow Jackets 15-4 the remainder of the half and led 36-30 at halftime. The Wildcats stretched the margin to as much as 16 points in the second half.

Moses Wright led the Yellow Jackets (4-4) with 13 points, followed by Bubba Parham and Khalid Moore with 10 points each.

BUBBA'S BACK

Parham, a junior guard who transferred from VMI, returned to Lexington more than a year after he made 10 3-pointers and scored 35 points in VMI's 92-82 loss to the Wildcats last season. Parham scored 30 points nine times last year.

ALLEN HONORED

Kentucky freshman Dontaie Allen was honored before the game with his Kentucky Mr. Basketball ring from the Kentucky Lions Foundation. Allen played at Pendleton County and tore his ACL, missing most of his senior season. Allen has yet to play this season and returned to practice last week.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

Kentucky could move up a spot following top-ranked Louisville's loss to Texas Tech in the Jimmy V Classic Tuesday at Madison Square Garden.

BIG PICTURE

Kentucky: After playing eight of their first nine games at home, the Wildcats will play twice in Las Vegas, beginning Wednesday against Utah. Kentucky then plays No. 3 Ohio State Saturday in the SBC Sports Classic. The Wildcats host top-ranked Louisville on Dec. 28.

Georgia Tech: The Yellow Jackets lost their third game of the season against a Southeastern Conference opponent. Georgia Tech lost to Georgia and Arkansas in overtime earlier this season. The Yellow Jackets were members of the SEC from 1951-64 and fell to 4-31 in Lexington against the Wildcats.

UP NEXT

Georgia Tech: At Ball State on Wednesday.

Kentucky faces Utah at Las Vegas on Wednesday.

___

More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

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