Reeves’ 27 points sends UK past Ole Miss

Published 3:33 pm Wednesday, February 1, 2023


Antonio Reeves came off the bench to score a season-high 27 points Tuesday to lead Kentucky to a 75-66 must-win at Ole Miss.

The Wildcats (15-7, 6-3 Southeastern Conference) have won five straight conference games and notched their third straight road win.

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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.

Kentucky was without freshman guard Cason Wallace, who sat out with a knee bruise. Senior Sahvir Wheeler stepped back into the starting lineup  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.

Reeves entered the game with 14:02 left in the first half and Kentucky trailing 15-10. Less than five minutes later, Reeves had connected on three 3-pointers, sparking an 11-2 run that gave the Kentucky a 21-17 lead. Ole Miss (9-13, 1-8) hung around and tied the game at 32-32 heading into the half.

In the second half, Reeves, a transfer from Illinois State, again did not start but he entered after just two minutes of play, and with the Cats ahead by one. Reeves scored UK’s next eight points as Kentucky extended the lead to six, 43-37, with 15:04 to play.

Reeves’ 27 points tied a Calipari-era record for scoring 20 or more points off the bench, tying Doron Lamb.

It was also the eighth straight game in which Reeves has scored in double figures.

Jacob Toppin finished with 18 points, including 12 in the second half. Oscar Tshiebwe recorded his 13th double-double of the season, and the 53rd of his career, scoring 14 points and grabbing 11 rebounds on Tuesday.

The Cats played without starting point guard Cason Wallace, who was out with a leg injury. In his place, Sahvir Wheeler returned to the starting lineup and the senior had a big game. He scored just four points but he dished out nine assists

Kentucky plays host to Florida at 8:30 Saturday at Rupp Arena.