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Kentucky Gets Win in London Against Michigan

Photo Credit of UK Athletics

The Cats went to London, England to face a good Michigan Wolverines team. Kentucky was labeled as an 8.5 point favorite, but bettors and fans alike picked this more closely to a 50/50 game, especially after the Wildcats struggled significantly against Bellarmine. In the end, the Wildcats pulled this one out and put the Wolverines away 73-69.

Michigan matched up well against Kentucky, with a good duo of guards in Kobe Bufkin and Jett Howard, and a very good center in Hunter Dickinson. Dickinson and Tshiebwe battled all game, with Dickinson having a massive size advantage, standing at 7’1”. Tshiebwe battled back with his usual rebounding instincts and exceptional mechanics, especially against the big body of Dickinson. Oscar unfortunately had some foul trouble and had to miss crucial periods of time, and this team revolves around the play of Tshiebwe. Even so, Oscar impressively did not foul out playing 31 minutes while managing fouls, finishing with 13 points and 14 rebounds.

Guards Sahvir Wheeler and Cason Wallace tallied up the most minutes at 37 and 36, respectively. Wallace managed to go 4-4 from three point land, splashing in one from deep with 1:12 on the clock to put the game just out of reach from Michigan. Sahvir got close to a double-double with seven assists to add to his eleven points, managing the game well-enough to get the win. In addition, both guards played exceptional perimeter defense, with Cason even blocking the final three attempt by Jett Howard, even if the final box score does not show a block.

Scoring duo CJ Fredrick and Antonio Reeves did not put up eyepopping numbers, but hit timely three pointers when their name was called. Reeves pulled up a long ball from way down town to spark some momentum the Cats were desperately looking for, finishing with 11 points on 3 from 4 from deep. While Fredrick only had three points for the game, he had his number called on a brilliantly designed play that sprung him open through a series of screens. The play and a little luck from a ‘shooters bounce’ got him his sole field goal for the game.

Unfortunately, closing the game was not well executed, as the Cats had several opportunities to put the Wolverines away and allowed them to linger around. There were a couple late turnovers, missed shots, and missed free throws that kept the game within reach Michigan. The Cats also shot a lackluster 10/20 from the charity stripe, something the Cats have shot near 71 percent at on the season. Also, the Wildcats had 14 total turnovers compared to Michigan who only turned it over 7 times.

All in all, a win against a tournament caliber team is something Kentucky fans will take after early losses to Michigan State and Gonzaga. Fans will celebrate a quality win at this point in the season.

Kentucky faces Yale at home next on December 10th at 1 PM.


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