John Calipari ejected in No. 10 Kentucky’s narrow win against Arkansas

Ryan Young
After erupting at the officials in the second half, John Calipari’s wildcats just barely escaped Arkansas with a win.
After erupting at the officials in the second half, John Calipari’s wildcats just barely escaped Arkansas with a win. (Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

John Calipari was not happy on Saturday afternoon.

Midway through the second half of No. 10 Kentucky’s 73-66 win against Arkansas at Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville, Calipari became upset after EJ Montgomery picked up a foul call with the game tied. Calipari, wanting a flop to be called instead, started yelling at the officials about the call near midcourt and was quickly hit with a technical foul.

Calipari, however, didn’t stop there. Officials then hit him with a second technical foul and threw him out of the game.

“It happened so fast, we couldn’t react to it,” associate head coach Kenny Payne said after the game, adding that he seriously doubted that Calipari did it on purpose, via Jerry Tipton. “These kids are resilient. They deserve all the credit.”

While it wasn’t ideal, Calipari’s outburst seemed to pay off. The Wildcats took off on a 15-5 run after his ejection, finally pushing ahead to grab the seven-point win.

Mason Jones led Arkansas with 19 points and six rebounds. Jimmy Whitt Jr. added 14 points, and Isaiah Joe finished with 13. They were the only three to score in double figures in the loss, which marked their second in four games. As a team, the Razorbacks shot just 33 percent from the field and went only 2-of-16 from the 3-point line in the second half.

Nick Richards led the Wildcats with a near-double-double with 17 points and nine rebounds, shooting 6-of-8 from the field. Ashton Hagans and Immanuel Quickly each added 13 points. The win marked Kentucky’s first since falling to South Carolina 78-81 on Wednesday, which had snapped a five-game win streak.

Even though he pulled out the win without Calipari on the bench, Payne didn’t have much of an answer as to what set the longtime coach off.

“I wish I knew the answer to that other than, emotions run high in these games,” Payne said. “We’re playing at another team’s home court. Things happen. Bad calls happen. Situations happen, the other team does stuff that, whatever, they play well. Again, I hate to say it like this, I wish he wouldn’t have gotten tossed.”

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