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Box score and MVP from Kentucky vs. Gonzaga

The Wildcats suffered their second loss of the week.

NCAA Basketball: Kentucky at Gonzaga James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

The No. 4 Kentucky Wildcats basketball team played their first of a six-game series with the No. 2 Gonzaga Bulldogs on Sunday night and came up well short of a win, falling 88-72 in Spokane, WA.

Aside from Oscar Tshiebwe, the first half was a bit sluggish for Kentucky. Their star big man scored 14 points on 4-7 shooting while the rest of the Wildcats accounted for just 11 points and made only four of their 26 shot attempts.

Kentucky played that bad on the road against the No. 2 team in the country to find themselves down 18.

The start of the second half, though, was a different story for the Wildcats. Kentucky came out firing with a 14-4 run over the first five minutes to cut their deficit to 10 and force a Gonzaga timeout.

Kentucky kept their foot on the gas, cutting the lead to 61-55 with 10 minutes left in the game. However, Gonzaga eventually settled themselves down and matched Kentucky’s energy. The two teams traded blows down the stretch, but Kentucky’s offensive surge was too little-too late to complete the comeback.

The Wildcats quickly find themselves with two losses (all-be-it to Tom Izzo and Mark Few coached teams) to start the year. They’ll return home for games vs. North Florida on Wednesday and Bellarmine next Tuesday before traveling to London for their next “big” test on December 4th against No. 20 Michigan.

Box Score

Game MVP

Nothing new here. Tshiebwe carried the load in the first half and though he had a few careless fouls that proved to be costly in the second half when Kentucky needed their star on the court, Tshiebwe still managed to finish with a team-best 20 points and 15 rebounds.

There is a bit of concern surrounding Tshiebwe’s conditioning, as it was only his third game back, and he hasn’t had much practice time at all. But several days off between Kentucky’s next few games should allow Tshiebwe to get into better game shape.

Even with a deeper team this season, it’s clear the Wildcats desperately need production from their big man.

But there’s still no question Oscar is Kentucky’s best player and arguably the best in all of college basketball. Here’s to hoping his teammates step up and help this become a special season with the senior big man.