After a few days off, the Kentucky Wildcats were back in Rupp Arena for an in-state matchup against Bellarmine.
The first half got off to an awful start on the offensive side of the floor for the Cats as it took them until the 15:38 mark to score their first points of the game.
Things did not improve on that end anytime soon, and at the under 12 media timeout, the Cats were trailing 10-6.
The Cats’ first lead in this one came with just 5:27 left in the half when a Cason Wallace free throw made it a 13-12 ballgame.
A CJ Fredrick three with just under 4 minutes left gave Kentucky a 21-14 lead, and it was looking like the Cats were finally going to take off.
However, that was the last time the Cats scored in the half, and it went into the break tied at 21.
The second half was more offensive struggles for the Cats’ early and Bellarmine came out with a lot of confidence.
At the under 16 media timeout, the Cats were trailing 32-28, and out of the timeout, the energy picked up in a big way for Kentucky.
Kentucky went on a run to take a 39-32 lead before a Bellarmine three made it 39-35.
However, the Cats proceeded to go on a 12-0 run to take a 51-35 lead and force Bellarmine to take a timeout with just under 6 minutes to go.
Overall, it was a very frustrating game to watch offensively for the Cats, but they were able to find a way to go on a run in the second half and come away with the 60-41 win, highlighted by a 32-9 run to end the game.
Here is how Twitter reacted to the game.
Haven’t been this worried about the Cats against a team from Louisville since 2016.— Nick Roush (@RoushKSR) November 30, 2022
This is just brutal offense by Kentucky (and very good defense by Bellarmine) as the Cats are 0 for 4 from the field with three turnovers and trial 6-0 after four minutes. Wooooof.— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_ATH) November 30, 2022
Very unserious basketball being played.— (@TheA1God) November 30, 2022
It took Kentucky four minutes to score. That happens when you stand around and do dribble hand offs against a disciplined team that will switch.— Nick Roush (@RoushKSR) November 30, 2022
It seems like UK has had a weird number of halves start with a long stretch before the first tv timeout.— Justin Rowland (@RowlandRIVALS) November 30, 2022
Our offense is just not working. Defense is alot closer to ready.— The Kentucky ˥ogo (@TheKentuckyLogo) November 30, 2022
Wheeler, Livingston, Collins, Ware... Not exactly a shooting threat— Drew Franklin (@DrewFranklinKSR) November 30, 2022
It’s like Kentucky did not prepare at all for anything Bellarmine does, in any remote way.— Sean Vinsel (@HoopsInsight) November 30, 2022
Bellarmine’s just the type of team disciplined enough to expose your weaknesses through tough, gritty, hard work. Kentucky has been held to just 6 points in the first nine minutes by the Knights, showing no offensive identity at all.— Tres Terrell (@TerrellTres) November 30, 2022
A little terrified to think what this team would be like without Oscar Tshiebwe.— Tyler Thompson (@MrsTylerKSR) November 30, 2022
Kentucky needs less Kobe from Toppin/Collins and more Pau Gasol or...something.— Big Blue Drew (@BigBlueDrew33) November 30, 2022
Nothing like seeing Louisville take an L during a Kentucky game. As if last Saturday wasn’t enough for us. Good job ESPN.— Tres Terrell (@TerrellTres) November 30, 2022
Kentucky with one of the worst offensive performances of the season (and that's saying something). 12-12 at the under eight timeout, Wildcats shooting 33% from the field, 0% from three (0-4) to open the game.— Jack Pilgrim (@JackPilgrimKSR) November 30, 2022
Calipari very animated tonight. From our vantage point in peanut gallery, he looks like he's another defender on the court. Gotta be frustrating for him.— John Huang (@KYHuangs) November 30, 2022
Like seriously what is this? Pass-pass-pass, wheeler three. I’m going to be sick.— Ian Teasley (@ianteasley) November 30, 2022
If Calipari really wants to score 80 a game this season, 12 points in 15 minutes versus Bellarmine is a very rough start to getting there.— Drew Franklin (@DrewFranklinKSR) November 30, 2022
Nice run right there— The Kentucky ˥ogo (@TheKentuckyLogo) November 30, 2022
Kentucky's finally looking comfortable. Took a while. In the long run playing teams that do this is going to help them even if it's tough to watch at times now.— Justin Rowland (@RowlandRIVALS) November 30, 2022
This used to be fun.— Drew Franklin (@DrewFranklinKSR) November 30, 2022
Another pathetic half of basketball. Another half of coaching malpractice. Another half of players making JV mistakes. Another sorry ass showing for this UK team— Bobby Reagan (@BarstoolReags) November 30, 2022
Rich Scangarello watched that first half and flinched.— David Sisk (@CoachDavidSisk) November 30, 2022
Someone please tell me what we’ve been doing in practice. I mean seriously this is pathetic— Big Blue Nation #BBN (@UKBasketbalI) November 30, 2022
It’s a good thing Cal finally got to fully practice with his team— BEEZY (@Burke_Franklin_) November 30, 2022
You could be up 25 and a shot clock violation against Bellarmine would be embarrassing.— T.J. Walker (@TJWalkerRadio) November 30, 2022
Absolutely zero offense
Hear me out: maybe Wheeler isn’t suited to play against teams who sag off the perimeter to stop drives? At least not unless he’s surrounded by 3 point shooters?— Sean Vinsel (@HoopsInsight) November 30, 2022
That possession was dribble around until Sahvir Wheeler drives straight into the teeth of the defense and tries to force a shot over a big man.— Justin Rowland (@RowlandRIVALS) November 30, 2022
The Rupp is starting to get into this game.— Dylan Ballard (@DylanBallard_UK) November 30, 2022
A few crowd pops…
Kentucky is finally forcing turnovers and running in transition, but they’re shooting free throws instead of being dudes and finishing at the rim.— Nick Roush (@RoushKSR) November 30, 2022
You’re a better athlete. Go be an athlete.
Boom. 3 by CJ and Cats up 39-32 and maybe ready to take off ????— Vaughts' Views (@vaughtsviews) November 30, 2022
On a positive note, if there are any, Kentucky has forced 3 shot clock violations already on Bellarmine, credit to their defense.— Tres Terrell (@TerrellTres) November 30, 2022
Six three point attempts for Fredrick tonight. He's knocked down three. I like that they're making an effort to prioritize that.— Justin Rowland (@RowlandRIVALS) November 30, 2022
Kentucky goes on an 18-3 run here in the second half to push the lead to 11 points, the largest of the evening— Jack Pilgrim (@JackPilgrimKSR) November 30, 2022
The Wildcats finally catch a groove after 30+ minutes of struggling basketball!— Dylan Ballard (@DylanBallard_UK) November 30, 2022
Jacob Toppin -- a living, breathing matchup nightmare -- finally using his size and athleticism to impose his will. Now up to 8 points (3-7 FG), three rebounds and two assists in 26 minutes.— Jack Pilgrim (@JackPilgrimKSR) November 30, 2022
Tone three— Kentucky Men’s Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) November 30, 2022
11-0 run, then a 12-0 run. Cats up 51-35. pic.twitter.com/qYaexf9p0M
Reeves and Fredrick now both with 3 3's tonight. That is what UK has to have— Vaughts' Views (@vaughtsviews) November 30, 2022
We made Tony Bennett proud with the score tonight— BEEZY (@Burke_Franklin_) November 30, 2022
I’ll take the win. Lots to work on.— (@TheA1God) November 30, 2022
After all that ugliness in the first half, Kentucky shoots 56.5 percent over the final 20 minutes and wins 60-41.— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_ATH) November 30, 2022
Bellarmine lost to:
Clemson by 10
Duke by 17
UCLA by 21
Kentucky by 19