Reid Travis scored 14 points, including a pair of clutch free throws, as No. 2 seed Kentucky fended off No. 7 Wofford 62-56 in an NCAA Tournament Midwest Region second-round game Saturday afternoon in Jacksonville, Fla.,
It took a miserable outing from one of the country’s all-time great shooters to help the Wildcats pull out the victory.
Kentucky (29-6) goes to the Sweet 16 on Friday night in Kansas City, Mo., to face either third-seeded Houston or No. 11 Ohio State.
Freshman Ashton Hagans racked up 12 points for Kentucky, while classmates Keldon Johnson and Tyler Herro both had nine.
Nathan Hoover scored 19 points and Cameron Jackson added 11 for Wofford (30-5), which saw its school-record 21-game winning streak end. Hoover hit 4 of 5 from 3-point range, accounting for half of the Terriers’ successful 3-pointers.
Wofford’s Fletcher Magee, the NCAA’s leader in career 3-point baskets, was 0 for 12 from beyond the arc, including eight misses in the second half. The Southern Conference Player of the Year finished with eight points.
Herro’s 3-pointer and Nick Richards’ free throw nudged Kentucky to a 58-51 lead with 3:36 remaining, but the Wildcats then went more than three minutes without scoring.
Wofford pulled within 58-56 on Keve Aluma’s tip-in at the 40-second mark.
With 18 seconds to play, Travis connected on a pair of free throws to help seal the outcome. He also pulled in a game-high 11 rebounds, matching Aluma’s total.
Wofford opened the second half with a 9-4 run for a 35-32 lead, but once the Wildcats went back on top moments later they never trailed again.
Wofford led 21-15 even though Magee hadn’t registered a point. He didn’t score until the final 30 seconds of the half.
Kentucky played for the second game in a row without team scoring and rebounding leader PJ Washington, a 6-foot-8 sophomore who had his left foot in a cast from an injury sustained in last week’s Southeastern Conference tournament.
Magee’s 3-point total ends at 509.
—Field Level Media