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MENS BASKETBALL


Kentucky 105, Georgia 96

Kentucky 105, Georgia 96

GARY B. GRAVES
ASSOCIATED PRESS

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Tre Mitchell scored 23 points, Antonio Reeves added 21 and No. 8 Kentucky shot 62% to beat Georgia 105-96.

Zvonimir Ivišić added 13 points off the bench in his long-awaited debut, including 11 during a highlight-heavy 13-2 first-half run that broke the game open. The NCAA declared the 7-foot-2 Croatian forward eligible earlier in the day after a prolonged screening process that frustrated coach John Calipari and the Wildcats’ fan base.

Jabri Abdur-Rahim scored 34 points for the Bulldogs (13-5, 3-2 Southestern Conference), who lost their first road game this season after entering as one of four Division I squads unbeaten away from home. Georgia shot 50% (31 of 62) but couldn’t keep pace with hot-shooting Kentucky, which made 39 of 63 overall and 14 of 25 from behind the arc.

Kentucky (14-3, 4-1) led 54-35 at halftime, and the nation’s top scoring team didn’t let up as it led 96-68 with 7 1/2 minutes remaining and appeared to threaten several offensive milestones. The Wildcats ended with their third triple-digit performance of the season and first in SEC play since beating Tennessee 107-79 on Jan. 15, 2022.

D.J. Wagner added 18 points and 10 assists and Reed Sheppard 12 for Kentucky, which won its second in a row.

BIG PICTURE

Georgia initially hung tough on the road but seemed caught off guard defensively, especially stopping Kentucky from 3-point range. The Bulldogs’ bench, which entered the contest ranked 16th nationally with a plus-14.3 point margin, was no match for the Wildcats’ depth as the reserves were outscored 31-25.

Kentucky got ever closer to being whole with Ivišić's return and the freshman forward showed what could come with an impressive performance on both ends of the floor. His perimeter shooting helped the Wildcats finish 56% from deep and helped provide a 27-16 advantage in assists.

Kentucky athletics press release

January 20, 2024





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