LEXINGTON – November 23, 2022 – David Leveridge
Kentucky returned to Rupp Arena hosting the North Florida Ospreys. Following a disappointing loss to Gonzaga Bulldogs, many fans were disappointed in the CATS performance against Elite talent. Today’s game saw Kentucky dominate North Florida from the Atlantic Sun Conference with an easy win defeating the Osprey’s 96-56. In the first half Kentucky jumped out to an early lead of 14-5 and continued to build on the lead. Kentucky grew the lead to thirty-one points at intermission Kentucky 54- North Florida 23. In the second half Kentucky grew the lead to forty- seven points and defeated the Osprey’s 96-56.
Kentucky had several players who stood out in today’s contest including Oscar Tshiebwe, Jacob Toppin, and Antonio Reeves. Tshiebwe is a double double machine, and reached that status again tonight with sixteen points, fifteen rebounds. Oscar also had a team high with three steals and five assists. After the game Tshiebwe was awarded the Kentucky Most Impactful Player title belt for his performance, leading the team in steals and a career high in assists. The title belt is a new concept developed by Coach Calipari and will be given out to the most impactful player each game if the team wins the game. Toppin and Reeves each finished the game tied with twenty points. Reeves was the hot hand tonight finishing the game tonight making four three- point baskets, and at one point was shooting 4-5 from behind the arc in the first half. Toppin was consistent through out the game scoring eight points in the first half, and twelve in the second half. Toppin also finished the game with a double double scoring twenty points and grabbing 10 rebounds.
In the first half Kentucky jumped out to an early lead leading 14-5 at the first media time out. Kentucky finished the half with an eleven to one run. Among the stars for Kentucky was Oscar Tshiebwe who finished the half with nearly a double double with 10 points and nine rebounds. Tshiebwe was dominate in the first half taking advantage of the smaller Osprey’s defenders. On one play in the first half Tshiebwe stole the ball, drove the lane and finished the play with an exciting two hand slam. Antonio Reeves was excellent as well finishing the half with 18 points and making 4-5 from behind the arc. At intermission Kentucky had a commanding lead leading by thirty- one points. Kentucky 54- North Florida 23.
Kentucky continued to dominate North Florida in the second half, growing the lead to forty-seven before finally defeating North Florida 96-56. Toppin was exceptional in the second half scoring twelve points, making a three-point basket, and grabbed four rebounds in the second half.
- Kentucky 96 / North Florida 56
- FG % 48 % (35-73) / 34% (20-58)
- 3PT FG 38 % (9-24) / 29% (6-21)
- Total Rebounds 50 / 35
- Blocks 9 / 1
- Assists 23 / 6
Player Stats Kentucky
- Jacob Toppin 20 points, FG 7-15, 3PT FG 1-2, Rebounds 10, 1 assist.
- Oscar Tshiebwe 16 points, FG 8-11, 15 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals.
- Antonio Reeves 20 points, FG 7-12, 3Pt FG 4-8, 6 rebounds, 1 assist.
- Cason Wallace 8 points, FG 3-8, 3PT FG 2-6, 6 assists, 1 steal, 1 rebound.
Player Stats North Florida
- Jairus Hicklin 17 points, FG 6-12, 3 PT FG 4-8, 1 rebound, 1 assist.
- Jonathan Abor 8 points, FG 4-5, 1 rebound, 1 assist.
- Carter Henderson 7 points, FG 2-8, 2 rebounds.