LEXINGTON, Ky. - Sophomore Bubba Parham delivered a career-high 35 points Sunday night as the VMI men’s basketball team gave #10th-ranked Kentucky University all it could handle and more, but the Wildcats prevailed 92-82.
The Keydets trailed just 85-79 with 1:49 left on the game clock after back-to-back three pointers from Bubba Parham and Greg Parham, but could get no closer.
As a team, VMI connected on 19 threes, setting the single-game record at the historic Rupp Arena. It was also the most three pointers made against Kentucky in its history. The Keydets hit 14 shots from distance in 2008, when they pulled off a 111-103 upset of the Wildcats.
Bubba Parham nailed 10-of-16 three pointers, breaking the school record for most hit in a single game. Garrett Gilkeson had 13 points, sinking 3-of-5 three pointers with six rebounds. Tyler Creammer also posted 13 points, draining 3-of-4 three pointers, while Greg Parham finished with 10 points.
Kentucky’s PJ Washington tallied 19 points and a game-high 18 rebounds, and Reid Travis had a team-best 22 points and six rebounds. Quade Green added 17 points.
The Wildcats held a 43-22 edge in rebounding for the night. The Wildcats also held a huge advantage from the free-throw line, connecting on 29-of-35 free throws to VMI’s 5-of-5.
VMI led 22-20 after a Myles Lewis basket with 9:28 remaining in the first half. Kentucky (3-1) finished the half on a 28-10 run to go into intermission ahead 48-32. KY opened a 65-46 edge with 12:45 left in the game before VMI started chipping away to nearly come all the way back.
VMI (3-2) hosts Kentucky Christian Tuesday night at 7 p.m.
Quotes from head coach Dan Earl:
“"I was super proud of our guys. I thought we fought all game. At the end it would have been nice to come out on top but you can't take anything away from our players."
"I was really pleased with our decision making in the second half and it was so much better. We talked before the game that it was tough to finish over these guys - they were long and tall and in the second half certainly it helps that Bubba Parham went crazy and made a bunch of shots. They were giving him a ton of attention and he played great and he sprayed the ball when we needed to."
"We were getting good looks all second half. I think we had only three turnovers in the second half which was a tribute to our guys. We competed throughout and that's what we wanted to do."