UK POSTGAME NOTES: Wildcats Overcome Texas A&M 64-58
Compiled by Tony Neely, UK Athletics
UK MEN’S BASKETBALL POSTGAME NOTES KENTUCKY at TEXAS A&M REED ARENA | BRYAN-COLLEGE STATION, TEXAS JAN. 19, 2022 ATTENDANCE: 14,036 – largest in Reed Arena history
Final Score: No. 12 Kentucky 64, (RV) Texas A&M 58
Team Records, Series Notes, Etc.
Kentucky won its fourth consecutive game, and eighth in the last nine games, to move to 15-3 on the season and 5-1 in the Southeastern Conference.
Texas A&M ended an eight-game win streak and is now 15-3, 4-1 in the league.
Tonight’s game marked the second of five games against teams that had a combined record of 64-13 when the stretch began Jan. 15.
The Wildcats lead the series, 12-4, and have won the last three games vs. the Aggies.
UK leads the series 5-2 in games played in Bryan-College Station.
Next for Kentucky: UK concludes the two-game road swing Saturday at No. 2-ranked Auburn. The game will be televised by CBS at 1 p.m. ET (noon CT in Auburn).
Playing in front of the largest crowd in Reed Arena history, despite a season-high-tying 17 turnovers and a season-low-tying 36.2% shooting night, UK gutted out a 64-58 victory.
The 64 points scored is the fewest in a Kentucky victory since a 62-58 win over Houston in the 2019 NCAA Tournament.
Limiting Texas A&M to 58 points, UK is 10-0 this season and 198-9 (.956) under Calipari when keeping the opponent to 63 or fewer.
TAMU shot 39.4 percent from the field (26 of 66). UK is 9-0 this season and 218-24 (.901) under Calipari when opponents shoot 40% or less.
With TAMU shooting 4.5% from 3-point range (1 of 22), this was Kentucky’s best 3-point field goal percentage defense ever in a game in which the opponent attempted at least 20 3-pointers.
UK won the rebounding, 43-40, and is 15-1 this season when winning the boardwork.
The Wildcats also claimed 15 offensive rebounds, leading to an 18-11 advantage in second-chance points.
Free-throw shooting also proved pivotal. Kentucky made 69.2% at the charity stripe (18 of 26) while the homestanders converted just 5 of 13 for 38.5%.
Sahvir Wheeler led the Wildcats with 12 points and four assists.
Davion Mintz continued his recent hot run with 10 points, eight rebounds and three assists.
He is averaging 12.3 points per game over the last six contests.
He is 14 of 28 (50 percent) from behind the 3-point line over the last five games.
Jacob Toppin came off the bench with nine points, six rebounds and two assists, with most of the stats coming in the second half.
Oscar Tshiebwe garnered eight points and 14 rebounds, and for the second game in a row, had a career-high-tying three steals.
The nation’s leading rebounder has grabbed double-figure boards in all but two games this season.
John Calipari is now 354-96 at UK.
Calipari is now one win short of career win No. 800 and has a 799-236 all-time on-court record.
UK is 114-55 on the road at UK.
UK is 289-56 against unranked competition under Calipari.
Calipari is now 11-3 vs. Texas A&M, including 10-3 at Kentucky.
Calipari has tallied a 372-117 all-time record within conference play as a head coach and owns a 164-51 record since joining the SEC.
In the First Half
The starting lineup featured Sahvir Wheeler, TyTy Washington Jr., Kellan Grady, Keion Brooks Jr. and Oscar Tshiebwe for the second consecutive game. UK is 12-3 with that starting lineup this season.
Jacob Toppin was UK’s first substitute at the 16-minute mark.
Missing 11 of their first 14 shots, the Wildcats never led in the first half.
Ahead 16-12, Texas A&M went on a 9-0 run for a 25-12 advantage. The 13-point deficit was UK’s largest since a 15-point deficit vs. Duke in the season opener.
Trailing 29-16 with 5:57 remaining, UK chipped away, and Wheeler’s driving layup brought the Wildcats to within 35-30 at halftime.
The 30 points tied UK’s fewest of the first half this season, also at Notre Dame and LSU.
Wheeler led the Wildcats in the first half with nine points and Tshiebwe collected 10 rebounds.
In the Second Half
Kentucky began the second half with the starting lineup.
A pair of free throws by Brooks and a 3-pointer by Wheeler tied the game at 35 with 18:42 left.
UK then created two possessions with a chance for its first lead of the game but did not score.
Texas A&M surged with a 6-1 run to reestablish a 41-36 lead and UK called timeout at 16:11.
Trailing 47-41, an 8-1 rally gave the Wildcats their first lead of the game, 49-48, with 9:00 left.
Tied at 54, a feed from Davion Mintz led to a Toppin dunk with 6:19 remaining and the Wildcats never trailed again.
With UK nursing a 60-58 lead, UK held TAMU scoreless for the final 2:47 of the game, covering the final five Aggie possessions.
Ahead 61-58 with 10.4 seconds left, Mintz rattled home the first of a 1-and-1 to make it 62-58.
Tshiebwe made two foul shots with 2.2 seconds left for the final margin.
Kentucky limited Texas A&M to 23 points on 29.4% shooting in the second half.
The Wildcats got a depth charge in the second half, as Toppin came off the bench with seven points and three rebounds while Mintz had six points and seven boards in the final stanza.