COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- Immanuel Quickley, arguably the Southeastern Conference's hottest shooter and its reigning Player of the Week, reached new heights Tuesday. He made a career-high eight 3-pointers. That equaled the most by any Kentucky player in John Calipari's 11 seasons as coach.
UK needed that shooting -- and Quickley's career-high 30 points -- to hold off Texas A&M, 69-60.
After A&M narrowed UK's lead to 57-50, Quickley hit a leaner in the lane. On the next possession, he hit his eighth 3.
UK improved to 23-5 and 13-2 in the SEC. Quickley's 30 points equaled the 12th most by a UK player in the Calipari era.
To play off the political theme that inspired UK's "Pick Quick" campaign for individual honors, Quickley's first half was like winning a primary election in a landslide.
Quickley scored nearly half the points that built a 36-27 halftime lead. He had 16. He reached double-digits for a 17th straight game on a baseline jumper with 10:07 left in the first half. It is the longest such streak by a UK player since Malik Monk did it for 30 straight games in 2016-17.
The second of his four first-half 3s gave Kentucky the lead for good at 10-8 with 18:05 left. That first-half lead reached its zenith at 36-25 when EJ Montgomery dunked a lob from Tyrese Maxey with 1:05 left.
Texas A&M matched Kentucky shot for shot inside the opening four minutes. The Aggies made five of their first six shots, including four-of-four shooting on three-pointers.
Then reality set in. The SEC's worst-shooting team made 4 of 19 shots (one of nine from beyond the arc) the rest of the half.
With Quickley averaging 15.5 points in the second halves of the last six games, which alone would rank the 12th-best by any player in SEC play, a 30-point game seemed possible.
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