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Wildcats Back on Track Defeating Ole Miss 75 to 63

Photo by Danny Pendleton - Bluegrass Sports Nation

Lexington, Ky – February 13, 2024 – Michael Willis

After losing three in a row, setting a Rupp Arena record, the Wildcats took to court against the Ole Miss Rebels looking to rid themselves of the bad vibes and move forward with the season. The Rebels gave the Cats trouble at the start of each half, but Kentucky was able to take the victory with better defense and rebounding.

It was another slow start for Kentucky who let Ole Miss jump out to a 5-0 advantage, but Justin Edwards scored the next 7 points for the Cats putting them back into the lead. The Rebels rallied and regained the lead due to sloppy play by Kentucky that led to 5 turnovers in the first 6 minutes of the game. The last 6:30 of the first half belonged to the Cats who outscored the Rebels by fifteen and led 43 to 29 at the half.

Justin Edwards and Antonio Reeves led the Wildcats in scoring at the half with 11 points each. Rebounding was much improved with 19 rebounds as a team and led by Tre Mitchell with five. Ugonna Onyenso had an outstanding half blocking 7 shots.

It was another slow start to begin the second half as Ole Miss cut the lead to eight forcing John Calipari to call a timeout with 17:27 left in the game. The Rebels cut the lead to 6 before the Wildcats decided to play better defense and pull away from their opponent for good. The Wildcats led by as many as 17 before winning the game 75 to 63.

Onyenso was the player of the game for the Wildcats tying David Robinson’s Rupp Arena 10 block record. He also scored 8 points and grabbed 3 rebounds. The leading scorer for the Cats was Antonio Reeves with 15 points and he also led the team in rebounding with 7. Justin Edwards continued his better performance scoring 12 points.

It was the first game of the season that Kentucky had their full roster available and it was apparent that Tre Mitchell was missed. Mitchell ended the night with only 5 points, but grabbed 6 rebounds before ending his night early after a shoulder injury. In the post-game press conference John Calipari had no update on Mitchell except to say he went for xrays.

Tonight’s game showed what the Cats are capable of if they play the least bit of defense. Going forward the Wildcats will have to replicate the performance if their hopes of a run in March is to be attained. The Cats have a difficult road game ahead of them when they play Auburn in a 4 pm matchup on Saturday.

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