Cats conquer Canada during golden northern excursion

Published 5:00 pm Monday, July 17, 2023

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Kentucky’s basketball team completed an undefeated run in the GLOBL JAM and claimed the gold medal in an 89-72 win over Canada on Sunday night in Toronto.

The Wildcats went 4-0 in the five-day event, defeating Canada twice and winning by double-figure margins in all four games. Kentucky defeated Canada 92-69 on Thursday night.

Kentucky also defeated Germany and Team Africa, hitting the century mark in the win over Team Africa on Saturday night.

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The Canadians challenged the Wildcats in the finale, but Kentucky outscored the hosts 18-6 in the final three minutes of the third quarter to put the game out of reach.

Kentucky placed four players in double figures, led by freshman Justin Edwards, who scored 23 points. Edwards made 10 of 20 shots from the field. He made a pair of 3-pointers and collected a pair of blocks.

Veterans Antonio Reeves and Tre Mitchell added 18 points apiece. Reeves connected on four of Kentucky’s 10 shots from long range. Reeves was named the Most Valuable Player of the event.

Freshman DJ Wagner added 13 points and a team-high six assists. Wagner added two steals. Reed Sheppard had two points and five assists.

Reeves rains down on Africa

Kentucky’s basketball team hit the century mark and remained undefeated in the GLOBL JAM on Saturday with a 104-92 victory over Team Africa at the Mattamy Athletic Centre in Toronto.

On Saturday afternoon, Antonio Reeves continued his impressive showing in the event and led Kentucky with 27 points. Reeves knocked down eight 3-pointers on 11 attempts. Overall, the Wildcats connected on 14 shots from long range, including eight in the first two quarters.

Freshmen DJ Wagner and Reed Sheppard followed Reeves with 18 points each, followed by Justin Edwards with 15 and Tre Mitchell with 12.

Sparked by Sheppard and Reeves, the Wildcats scored 57 points off the bench. Sheppard scored five points down the stretch in the third quarter to keep the lead in double digits at 78-65. Team Africa pulled within 87-81 with five minutes remaining and missed two opportunities to cut the deficit to four points. Kentucky used a 9-0 run to pull away for the win.

Sheppard made six of 10 shots from the field, including a pair of 3-pointers and dished out a team-high eight assists. Kentucky finished with 26 assists on 39 made field goals and had just 13 turnovers.

Edwards set the tone for the Wildcats, scoring nine of the team’s first 13 points. He sank a pair of 3-pointers during the sequence.

Sheppard shines in start

Kentucky made it look easy in the GLOBL Jam on Thursday night.

The Wildcats led from start to finish in a 93-69 win over Team Canada.

For the second straight game, Antonio Reeves led the Wildcats with 23 points. Reeves connected on three 3-pointers and led four players in double figures.

Kentucky freshmen Reed Sheppard and Justin Edwards combined for 30 points. They made five of Kentucky’s 11 shots from long range.

Sheppard knocked down back-to-back threes in the first half and finished with 14 points, four assists, four steals and a pair of blocks. Sheppard had a block and a steal that led to a highlight-reel dunk in the second half. Edwards connected on back-to-back treys in the second half while scoring 16.

Sheppard started alongside Rob Dillingham, Adou Thiero, Tre Mitchell and Reeves. Thiero added 11 points.

Kentucky had 27 assists on 35 field goals and collected 12 steals. Dillingham led the Wildcats with nine assists and Thiero added six rebounds and five assists.

Veterans lead way in opening round skirmish

Kentucky’s veterans spurred victory in the opening round of the GLOBL Jam on Wednesday in Toronto. Kentucky is representing the United States in the event.

Returnee Antonio Reeves scored 24 and West Virginia transfer Tre Mitchell added 20 in an 81-73 triumph over Germany. Kentucky will take on Canada at 8 p.m. Thursday in the second of three scheduled games.

Reeves and Mitchell received support from starters DJ Wagner, Adou Thiero and Justin Edwards. Wagner, the team’s point guard, scored 16, connected on a pair of 3-pointers and dished out six assists. Thiero scored nine points and Edwards added four for the Wildcats.

Reeves scored 13 points to lead the Wildcats in the first half, while Mitchell knocked down three treys and scored 11 points in the second quarter.

Freshman and reigning Kentucky Mr. Basketball Reed Sheppard didn’t score, but the North Laurel product had six assists and pulled down three defensive rebounds.

Kentucky’s defense forced 22 turnovers and the Wildcats tallied 27 points off those miscues.

The Wildcats were without freshman Aaron Bradshaw and sophomore Ugonna Onyenso. Bradshaw didn’t make the trip to Toronto after having surgery on an injured foot. Onyenso injured his ankle at the end of a scrimmage against Africa on Tuesday. Onyenso was walking on crutches and wore a boot on his left ankle.