Never wake a sleeping giant.
That’s the lesson the Yale Bulldogs learned the hard way on Saturday afternoon as Kentucky Wildcats superstar Oscar Tshiebwe dominated the second half to lift the Wildcats to a 69-59 win at Rupp Arena.
The reigning National Player of the Year had a quiet six points in the first half as the Wildcats led 25-15 at the 10:17 mark. However, that’s when things went off the rails for the Kentucky offense as the Wildcats managed just eight more points over the final ten minutes to hold on to a 33-27 halftime lead.
Yale would come out hot to start the second half and went on an 8-0 run to pull ahead 35-33 just 17:34 into the second half. That’s when Tshiebwe came to life, scoring 12 straight points in an epic performance that ended with a line of 28 points and 12 rebounds.
Sahvir Wheeler and Antonio Reeves added 10 points each as the Wildcats shot 50 percent from the field (29/58) and made just 9 turnovers.
Kentucky is now 17-3 all-time against Ivy League schools and improved its home winning streak to 25 games, the longest active home streak in the SEC.
You can add another chapter to the legend of Oscar Tshiebwe as the 6-foot-9 center produced his 33rd double-double in 41 games as a Wildcat.
Tshiebwe fought off double and triple teams on Saturday to expand his season averages of 14.2 points and 13.5 rebounds per game. Entering Saturday’s game, the Congo native needed just 39 more rebounds to become a career 1,000-point, 1,000-rebound player.
Getting an honorable mention for Game MVP is freshman Cason Wallace who scored 8 of Kentucky’s first 12 points to set the tone early for a Kentucky offense that looked sharp over the first eight minutes of the game, with good ball movement and hot shooting. However, the Wildcats quickly turned to Tshiebwe to stop any Yale momentum in the second half as the Wildcats now move to 7-2 on the season.
No. 16th-ranked Kentucky returns to action on December 17th against UCLA in the CBS Sports Classic at Madison Square Garden.