The Kentucky Wildcats returned to the court for the first time in eight days for a matchup with Southern University who is coached by former Wildcat Sean Woods.
It was a rusty start for the Cats as they started off cold offensively allowing Southern to build an early 9-2 lead.
Calipari turned to the bench to provide a spark and that is exactly what they did. The Cats would use a 9-2 run of their own to tie the game at 11 before a pullup jumper from Keion Brooks gave them a 13-11 lead.
Southern didn’t let the Cats pull away and did a great job of keeping this one close and even holding a 24-23 lead with just over 4 minutes left in the half.
Down the stretch, the Cats’ offense started to heat up and they were able to take a 38-34 lead into the halftime break.
The second half got off to a much better start, especially for Oscar Tshiebwe who led the Cats to a 46-36 lead at the first media timeout.
Despite building a lead, the Cats could not put Southern away as a layup with just under 9 minutes remaining cut the lead to single digits at 55-47.
Another spurt by Kentucky pushed the lead back out to double digits making it 64-53 with just over 6 minutes to play.
However, Southern battled back once again as the Cats held a narrow 66-58 lead with 4 minutes remaining.
Down the stretch it was a dominating performance from Tshiebwe as the Cats were able to come away with the 76-64 win.
Here is how Twitter reacted to the game:
Sean Woods gets nice round of applause when introduced.— John Huang (@KYHuangs) December 7, 2021
Maybe the first time all season Tshiebwe has gone four plus game minutes without a rebound.— Justin Rowland (@RowlandRIVALS) December 8, 2021
Really good to see Mintz back on the court after missing 3 games— Vaughts' Views (@vaughtsviews) December 8, 2021
That's a terrible call on Oscar— The Kentucky Logo (@TheKentuckyLogo) December 8, 2021
Oscar out muscled a guy for a rebound and they called a foul.— All Things Kentucky (@BBNWonka) December 8, 2021
Kentucky gets off to a cold shooting start every game.— Chris Fisher (@ChrisFisher247) December 8, 2021
Hey, somebody found Kellan Grady with room and rhythm. I’d do that more.— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_ATH) December 8, 2021
It’s not fair to compare anyone to Anthony Davis — and to be clear, I’m not doing that here — but Daimion Collins has that same freakish alien arm length. It’s like watching a cartoon character dunk a basketball.— Tyler Thompson (@MrsTylerKSR) December 8, 2021
Dontaie Allen is doing other things much better this season but just can't seem to find the range from deep. Now just 6 of 27 (22%) from 3 on the year after shooting nearly 40% last season.— Chris Fisher (@ChrisFisher247) December 8, 2021
Still no sign of Bryce Hopkins, who is dealing with a minor back injury. Didn't take his warmups off the entire first half.— Jack Pilgrim (@JackPilgrimKSR) December 8, 2021
UK is wildly committed to playing 3 and 4 non shooters at a time against Southern tonight— Hoops Insight (@HoopsInsight) December 8, 2021
Hoping Calipari is still just experimenting with certain lineups with this being our last cupcake opponent(other than High Point). There is absolutely no reason for there to ever be 3 bigs out on the floor at the same time whenever you have the guards that you do.— Michael Beard (@AllMikedUp_) December 8, 2021
I just don’t understand our lineups— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) December 8, 2021
But oh well
When Damion Collins figures it out, Kentucky will be on a different level.— Berkley’s Pops™️ (@BrandoAKing) December 8, 2021
Haven’t gotten to see much of TyTy Washington tonight because he picked up two fouls early on, but his poise/control is pretty amazing. Even on “quiet” nights, have to appreciate a freshman that can handle the ball like him.— Tyler Thompson (@MrsTylerKSR) December 8, 2021
Southern has 16 points off 13 UK turnovers. Calipari cannot be happy about that in this game— Vaughts' Views (@vaughtsviews) December 8, 2021
UK looks bored. I think they're ready to be done with this portion of the schedule.— Chris Fisher (@ChrisFisher247) December 8, 2021
Oscar Tshiebwe has now recorded 10 rebounds or more in all eight games as a Kentucky Wildcat.— Cats Coverage (@CatsCoverage_) December 8, 2021
Bob Huggins sounding more and more like a scorned lover https://t.co/3RAqjqRbcF— John Robic's Hair (@JohnRobicsHair) December 8, 2021
Kentucky with a season high 12 blocks tonight. Previous high was 10.— Justin Rowland (@RowlandRIVALS) December 8, 2021
Wasn’t the prettiest but Southern wouldn’t go away. It’s been a boring stretch, team seemed disinterested at times.— T.J. Walker (@TJWalkerRadio) December 8, 2021
Not worried about it. Gotta beat Notre Dame on Saturday because they’re not all that good.
This terrible stretch of games is finally over.— All Things Kentucky (@BBNWonka) December 8, 2021
Notre Dame— Justin Rowland (@RowlandRIVALS) December 8, 2021
Real season about to begin.
Big second half for Oscar but not a lot else great for Cats in 76-64 win over Southern that was lot closer than I aniticipated pic.twitter.com/3qmEPF6BeG— Vaughts' Views (@vaughtsviews) December 8, 2021
Seven-game home stretch ☑️— Kentucky Men’s Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) December 8, 2021
On to Notre Dame this Saturday. pic.twitter.com/g287fOOFVE