Reeves scores 27 in Cats rebound victory over Rebels

Published 10:51 am Wednesday, February 1, 2023

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Kentucky rebounded from a disappointing loss to No. 8 Kansas with a 75-66 win over Mississippi Tuesday night in Oxford.

The Wildcats (15-7, 6-3) have won five straight conference games and notched their third straight road win, all against league foes. The Jayhawks snapped Kentucky’s four-game win streak with a 77-68 triumph over the Wildcats in the Big 12/SEC Challenge Saturday at Rupp Arena.

In the win over the Rebels, coach John Calipari surpassed late LSU coach Harry Rabenhorst for sixth place in the most regular-season wins in SEC history with 178. Calipari also improved to 18-5 against the Rebels during his tenure as coach of the Wildcats. Kentucky has won 10 of the last 11 games between the two league foes.

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Kentucky was without SEC Freshman of the Week Cason Wallace, who sat out the contest as a precaution after suffering a knee contusion in practice this week. Wallace cheered on his teammates from the bench and is expected to return to the lineup Saturday.

Senior Sahvir Wheeler stepped back into the starting lineup to help fill the void and finished with four points and nine assists. Wheeler left the game late in the first half after hobbling off the court with an ankle issue but later returned and played nearly all of the second half at the point-guard slot.

Kentucky guard Antoinio Reeves, who has given the Wildcats a lift off the bench in the past six games, finished with a season-high 27 points and was instrumental in the first half. Reeves made three of his six treys in the opening half and has shot more than 45 percent from behind the arc in the past six encounters.

Reeves has scored 20 or more points in four games this season, tying Doran Lamb for the most points off the bench in the Calipari era. Reeves has tallied double figures in eight straight games.

Jacob Toppin followed Reeves with 18 points and scored 12 in the second half. Oscar Tshiebwe had a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds. It marked the 13th double-double of the year for Tshiebwe and the 53rd of his career.

Ole Miss, which has struggled against conference foes, fell to 9-13 overall and 1-8 in the SEC. The Rebels have lost 10 of their past 11 games under coach Kermit Davis.