LEXINGTON, Ky. — Anton Watson scored 17 points, including a go-ahead three-point play with 3:49 remaining before adding two key layups in the final 91 seconds, Ben Gregg and Nolan Hickman sank key late free throws and Gonzaga survived a second-half rally to beat No. 17 Kentucky 89-85 on Saturday.
The Wildcats (16-7) have now lost three straight at Rupp Arena for the first time. Rupp opened in 1976. Kentucky hadn’t lost three in a row at home since the 1966-67 season, when it played at Memorial Coliseum.
The Bulldogs (18-6) outperformed Kentucky in most every phase to lead 42-32 at halftime before the Wildcats stormed back ahead to force a back-and-forth contest. Reed Sheppard‘s three-point play with 4:07 left tied the game at 75, but Watson provided the go-ahead layup and ensuing free throw to put Gonzaga ahead for good, 78-75.
Watson followed Ryan Nembhard‘s two free throws and Graham Ike‘s layup with a key tip-in with 1:31 left for an 84-80 edge followed by another basket 36 seconds later for another four-point cushion that Kentucky couldn’t erase. Gregg stole a lob pass and made one of two free throws with 5 seconds left, and Hickman made two with a second left to seal a big win.
Sheppard had 21 points and Antonio Reeves 17 for Kentucky.
Ike scored a team-high 23 points before fouling out with 43 seconds left, Hickman had 17 and Braden Huff 12 as Gonzaga edged Kentucky in shooting, 47% to 46%.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.