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MENS BASKETBALL


Kentucky 83, Arkansas 57

Kentucky 83, Arkansas 57

ERIC W. BOLIN
ASSOCIATED PRESS

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - Antonio Reeves scored a game-high 24 points and No. 6 Kentucky overcame a sub-par shooting performance to put away Arkansas 63-57.

The Wildcats (15-4, 5-2 Southeastern Conference) took their first lead with 12:54 remaining in the second half when Reed Sheppard stole the ball and punctuated a 7-0 run with a dunk.

About five minutes later, Reeves picked up a steal-and-slam to put the Wildcats ahead for good, 44-43.

Kentucky missed 10 straight field goals during a stretch in the middle of the first half, allowing Arkansas to take a double-digit lead. The Razorbacks (10-10, 1-6) then went cold as both teams shot 29% from the floor in the opening 20 minutes. Kentucky shot 36.5% for the game.

Sheppard and Reeves each scored 14 points in the second half, with all of Sheppard’s coming after halftime, and they combined for all seven of Kentucky’s points during the game-changing run.

Turnovers were Arkansas’ downfall. The Razorbacks, who finished with 13 giveaways, had a chance to cut the game to one possession with 2:20 left, but D.J. Wagner picked off a pass and went the other way for a layup to give Kentucky its largest lead of the game, six points. Sheppard followed with a 3-pointer.

Tre Mitchell scored 10 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. Makhi Mitchell led Arkansas with 12 points, while Tramon Mark and Khalif Battle each scored 11.

BIG PICTURE

Kentucky is in a bit of a funk. The Wildcats lost earlier in the week by 17 points against South Carolina and even though they beat Arkansas on Saturday, not all is glimmering for John Calipari’s bunch.

Arkansas needs a push in the second half of SEC play just to make the NIT. The Razorbacks’ run of three straight Sweet 16s appears cooked before February, barring a miracle.

Kentucky athletics press release

January 27, 2024





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