CATS move to 6-1 on season
LEXINGTON – November 29, 2021 – John Turner, III
The Kentucky Wildcats hosted the Central Michigan Chippewas, Monday night at Rupp Arena. Kentucky came into the game (5-1) on the season and on a five-game home winning streak, looking to make it six in a row. Kentucky came in ranked 9th in the latest AP Top 25. The Wildcats entered the match up with four starters averaging double digits in scoring, with Kellan Grady almost being included to this list, averaging 9.7 points per game. Central Michigan came into the (1-4) on the season, with their only win being against Eastern Illinois. Central Michigan is coached by Tony Barbee, where he spent the last seven seasons as a member of John Calipari’s staff at Kentucky. Kentucky came into the game as a thirty-point favorite over Central Michigan.
Kentucky hit their first six field goals to start the game, giving them a 13 to 5 lead with 16:12 remaining in the first half. The Cats started off hot and never looked back, getting up 20 to 5, within the first six minutes of regulation, forcing Central Michigan to take a timeout, to try and regroup. Daimion Collins forced a turnover and got out in transition for Jacob Toppin to convert on a layup, to give the Cats a thirty-one-point lead with a score of 43 to 12 with 5:55 remaining in the first half. TyTy Washington hit a three-point field goal with 39 seconds remaining in the first half, to give the Cats a 51 to 22 lead.
Kentucky went into the half with a 51 to 25 lead. The Cats shot 20-38 from the field and 5-7 from three-point range. Kentucky’s length and athleticism were just too much for the Chippewas, contesting shots and jumping passing lanes, forcing Central Michigan to eight turnovers in the first half and shooting 10-30 from the field. Kentucky outrebounded Central Michigan twenty-five to fourteen in the first twenty minutes of play. The Cats were led offensively by Oscar Tshiebwe with thirteen points and eight rebounds at the half.
The Wildcats didn’t let off the brakes in the second half. TyTy Washington hit a three-point field goal to put the Cats on a 10 to 3 run to start the half and a 61 to 28 lead with 15:52 remaining to play. Dontaie Allen got a defensive rebound and passed up to a leaked-out, Jacob Toppin for a two-handed dunk, giving the Cats a 65 to 31 lead, getting quite a bit applause from the BBN, making Central Michigan call a timeout. Dontaie Allen hit a three-pointer with 4:11 remaining in the game, to put Kentucky up 78 to 48, that started clearing out the crowd in Rupp Arena.
Kentucky improved to (6-1) on the season with a final score of 85 to 57, making that six consecutive wins in a row. Kentucky was led offensively by Oscar Tshiebwe scoring twenty points and TyTy Washington finishing with fifteen points. The Cats were led on the boards by Oscar Tshiebwe collecting sixteen rebounds for the night. The Wildcats take the court again next Tuesday against Southern Illinois, at Rupp Arena a 7 PM, finishing up the seven-game home-game stretch.