It was a hot start for both teams as this one was tied 8-8 at the under 16 media timeout following a TyTy Washington jumper.
That start continued to the under 12 timeout as neither team was able to get any separation, but it was the Cats holding the 16-14 lead.
Then the shooting struggles started, and the Cats could not buy one from three-point range shooting 0/10 in the first half.
Despite the struggles from three, the Cats were converting their two-point shots at a high rate going 15/21 and taking a 30-28 lead into the halftime break.
The second half was more of the same as it continued to be a close battle with the game being tied at 39 at the under 16 timeout.
With 13:31 remaining, the Cats finally made their first three of the game as Kellan Grady drilled one to take a 43-39 lead.
That three didn’t lead to the Cats getting separation from the Irish, but they did hold a 53-51 lead at the under 8 timeout.
Then the Irish started to make a run and took a 59-56 lead into the final media timeout.
Kentucky battled back down the stretch to take a late lead, but it was the Irish hitting the go-ahead jumper with 11 seconds left as Kentucky loses it 66-62.
With the struggles from three, Calipari turned to Oscar Tshiebwe, and he delivered.
Kentucky kept feeding Tshiebwe, and he kept converting as he finished with 25 points, 7 rebounds, 3 steals, 2 blocks, and an assist.
On a day that the Cats couldn’t buy one from three, it was crucial that Tshiebwe have the type of performance that he did in order to stay in the game.
Now we know what we can expect from Tshiebwe night in and night out, but he needs to get a lot more help from the rest of the team.