The Kentucky Wildcats drop their first conference game of the season in Baton Rouge to LSU, 65-60. Kentucky had to battle without starting point guard Sahvir Wheeler, who left with an injury just minutes into the game.
Without Wheeler, the Cats struggled as, they could not get open baskets, aside from a Kellan Grady barrage to start the second half, and they could only muster up 11 assists.
Oscar Tshiebwe had 13 rebounds, but struggled to score the ball all night and committed a costly turnover that eventually sealed the game for the Tigers.
Kentucky also missed ten free throws. They lost by five. The math checks out.
But, this game comes down to the absence of Sahvir Wheeler, who could have been a difference maker as the nation’s leader in assists. TyTy Washington leaving the game in the second half, after Kentucky jumped out to a pretty good lead, derailed all momentum for Kentucky and took both of their play-makers off the court.
Kentucky is back home on Saturday against Georgia.
Here’s what Twitter had to say about the game:
Tough one in Baton Rouge. pic.twitter.com/0XVwIk3Jix— Kentucky Men’s Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) January 5, 2022
Welp. Just like that, it's over. Tshiebwe had a steal, down one, and threw it away. Flurry of mistakes by the Cats in the final seconds.— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_ATH) January 5, 2022
FINAL: LSU 65, Kentucky 60
I still blame the free throws.— Drew Franklin (@DrewFranklinKSR) January 5, 2022
Good thing we brought that timeout home with us— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) January 5, 2022
Calipari says he was screaming for a timeout at the end, after the Oscar turnover, when UK was down 3 with the ball.— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_ATH) January 5, 2022
Man I haven’t really been pissed off at a UK game in some time. But I’m hot tonight. This sucks.— Big Blue Drew (@BigBlueDrew33) January 5, 2022
huh I wonder what that white bubble next to the “60” means, I hope Kentucky uses it! pic.twitter.com/3oMxS8WR0F— Thomas Cavanagh (@TJ_Cavanagh) January 5, 2022
Bad news: We lost.— ThrowboyTees (@ThrowboyTees) January 5, 2022
Good news: Shaedon Sharpe 100% will be playing this season.
Down 1, Oscar gets the steal, throws it away, #LSU gets an easy dunk. Then Mintz turns it over, another easy jam for the Tigers to put the game to bed.— Josh Berrian (@_joshonair) January 5, 2022
My God that’s a bad way to lose.
#Kentucky fall 65-60, losing its second true road game of the year. #BBN pic.twitter.com/S1DdEyN1tZ
I'm completely fine without calling timeout in late games. Catch the defense scrambling too. Ball was in the hands of a 5th year senior, he needs to take care of the ball https://t.co/IKPrtto9cZ— Bobby Reagan (@BarstoolReags) January 5, 2022
This is a rough game to actually evaluate Kentucky.— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_ATH) January 5, 2022
No Sahvir Wheeler for the final 36 minutes. No Oscar Tshiebwe for the final 11:23 of the first half. No TyTy Washington/hobbled TyTy for the final 9:17 of the game.
And trailed by one in the final seconds at LSU.
I like you Michael but respectfully this is a terrible tweet. https://t.co/aESdC4kIXB— Things #BBN Likes (@ThingsBBNLikes) January 5, 2022
That was ugly. But I'm still at least 2-3 more of those from being mad about sports after this weekend. pic.twitter.com/hIDTgHc6Su— Jason Marcum (@marcum89) January 5, 2022
Kentucky scored three points between 13:06 and 1:52.— Jack Pilgrim (@JackPilgrimKSR) January 5, 2022
60% of a UK basketball roster should be able to score more than three points in 11-plus minutes. It's inexcusable, regardless of the circumstances. https://t.co/vcFLQ9YVh3
Losing TyTy was the straw that broke the camels back. If he doesn’t cramp up I think the Cats would have been ok. No Wheeler or Washington for prolonged minutes just doesn’t work.— Big Blue Express (@bigbluexpress) January 5, 2022
Calipari has no details on Sahvir Wheeler's injury. "I don’t know yet." Said he believes TyTy Washington's issue was cramps.— Tyler Thompson (@MrsTylerKSR) January 5, 2022
Only 11 assists for Kentucky tonight. Other than TyTy’s four, no one else has more than two.— Barkley Truax (@BarkleyTruax) January 5, 2022
Sahvir Wheeler is important to this team almost as much as Oscar is
Tonight proves that UK is going to live and die with Sahvir Wheeler unless John Calipari decides he's going to run plays to get Grady and Tshiebwe open looks. Hopefully that happens, but I'm not optimistic.— Nick Roush (@RoushKSR) January 5, 2022
Oh buddy did you underestimate this fanbase. https://t.co/6XIL4ESPua— dal (@dalsweatshirt) January 5, 2022
With both Wheeler and TyTy out, Kellan Grady didn’t take a shot in the last 11 minutes of the game until that final heave— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) January 5, 2022
That’s probably not gonna work
Kellan Grady says it was a major curveball to lose the offense's leader four minutes into the game and try to adjust. “But you can’t question the resolve and our fight.”— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_ATH) January 5, 2022