Lexington, Ky – November 10, 2023 – Michael Willis
The Wildcats get their second win of the season tonight defeating Texas A&M Commerce 81 to 61. Usually a twenty-point win means that Kentucky had an easy win, however, that is not how the game started. The Cats found themselves down 13 points with 13:28 left in the first half before they decided to step up and win the game.
The Lions started the game with an 16-6 run which included 4 three-pointers. Kentucky seemed lost on defense which left an open shooter on almost all the possessions. The Wildcats slowly pulled themselves back into the game and with 7:39 left in the first half D.J. Wagner gave the Cats their first lead of the game on a driving layup. Despite the slow start, Kentucky led 38 to 30 at the half.
Antonio Reeves led all scorers at the half with 13 and his 3 three-pointers were what put the Cats in the lead. Justin Edwards and Rob Dillingham both grabbed 5 rebounds. Kentucky only turned the ball over twice in the first half which allowed them to stay in the game when things were going downhill.
A 9 to 0 run in the early minutes of the second half pushed Kentucky’s lead to 15 and beyond the Lion’s reach. Having only making 3 turnovers while forcing 14 turnovers is perhaps what gave the Cats the point win. Kentucky also made 9 of their 10 free-throw attempts and had 8 steals.
Antonio Reeves continued to play well in the second half and ended the game 21 points and made 5 of his 8 three-point shots. Justin Edward, who was bragged on by John Calipari in the post-game press conference for being more active, had his best game of the season. Edwards scored 16 points and had 7 rebounds.
Tonight was a good test for the young Wildcats to see if they could come back after getting behind early. The team will be tested even more on Tuesday night when they travel to Chicago to compete in the Champion’s Classic against Kansas. The game is set to tip at 9:30 pm on ESPN.