Cats Pull Away Late for Key Victory over Texas A&M 76-67
By Jamie H. Vaught
Senior Antonio Reeves sparked the Wildcats to an exciting 76-67 win over Texas A&M Saturday afternoon at Rupp Arena.
In a matchup featuring 10 ties and 11 lead changes, Reeves came off the bench to guide Kentucky with his season-high 23 points, marking his 14th double-figure of the season.
Joining Reeves in the scoring attack were senior Jacob Toppin with 17 points, senior CJ Fredrick 12 points and freshman Cason Wallace 11 points.
“It feels great," said Reeves, who gunned in 5 of 11 three-pointers. "Knowing I got another shooter out there that I can rely on, and we stretch the floor a lot when we’re out there on each side. If Oscar (Tshiebwe) is getting double teamed down there then he’s able to kick it out to one of us and end up making shots down the stretch and C Fred is out there, too so and he’ll be able to make shots.”
After a slow first half which saw him in foul trouble with no points and only three rebounds, junior Oscar Tshiebwe came back and finished strong, grabbing 17 points and scoring 7 points despite four fouls.
Overall, the Wildcats didn't shoot well, hitting at a 40.3 percent clip. But they had 16 second-chance points (compared to Texas A&M's two points) with strong offensive rebounding. Kentucky, which had 17 offensive rebounds, outrebounded the Aggies 38-31 as it took the lead for good with 8:29 to go.
Texas A&M hit a perfect 16-for-16 from the line, while UK made 65 percent of its free throws (11 of 17).
"I thought it was an incredibly physical game," said Texas A&M coach Buzz Williams, whose club dropped to 13-6 overall and 5-1 SEC.
Kentucky, now 13-6 (4-3 SEC), faces Vanderbilt in Nashville Tuesday. The 9 p.m. (ET) matchup will be televised on SEC Network.