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No. 9 Kentucky rallies to take down Texas A&M

State Farm Champions Classic

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 15: Head coach John Calipari of the Kentucky Wildcats talks with Malik Monk #5, De’Aaron Fox #0, and Wenyen Gabriel #32 in the second half during the State Farm Champions Classic at Madison Square Garden on November 15, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

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Kentucky looked like they might get blown out after a sluggish start but the No. 9 Wildcats rallied on Saturday for a 71-63 SEC road win over Texas A&M. The win helped Kentucky capture the outright SEC regular-season title.

Trailing 16-2 to start the game, the Wildcats once again got off to a slow start but they were able to overcome the deficit with a balanced effort.

The Wildcats (26-5, 16-2) have found themselves in compromising situations before during this season and freshman guard Malik Monk’s ability to turn into a supernova and score double-figure points in the blink of an eye has helped Kentucky rally when they were behind.

That version of Monk never showed up on Saturday

Monk only finished with six points on 2-for-10 shooting as he couldn’t get going on offense. So Kentucky, instead, relied on their defense and a balanced offensive effort to climb back into the game as they were able to establish control for the second half.

Freshman point guard De’Aaron Fox paced Kentucky with 19 points -- 15 of which came in the second half -- as he did a nice job of attacking the basket and staying aggressive on offense. Bam Adebayo (13 points) and Derek Willis (11 points) also finished in double-figures for the Wildcats. Kentucky only finished 29 percent (7-for-24) from three-point range, but with a slower tempo that minimized possessions, it didn’t hurt them as much as a typical game.

Texas A&M (16-14, 8-10) got off to a strong start when they were able to get things done on the interior but their lack of perimeter shooting really hurt them in the end. The Aggies were only 5-for-18 from the perimeter (27 percent) as they couldn’t get much going after the hot start.

Guard Admon Gilder finished with a team-high 22 points while Robert Williams was another bright spot for Texas A&M with 20 points and 13 rebounds.