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Postgame notes from Kentucky beating Dominican Republic Select Team

Good times.

UK Athletics

Under John Calipari, the Kentucky Wildcats have sent some impressive teams to the Bahamas and laid down some pretty spectacular beatdowns, but this one is definitely up there.

Despite facing a Dominican Republic Select Team that added several professional veterans recently, Kentucky looked every bit like a national championship contender en route to a 108-56 destruction.

National Player of the Year Oscar Tshiebwe led the way with 17 points on 8/11 shooting. Six more Wildcats scored in double figures.

Kentucky was very efficient (56.5% from the floor) and careful with the ball (28 assists vs. five turnovers) while blocking 10 shots.

Good times indeed.

Here are the postgame notes via UK Athletics.

FINAL SCORE: Kentucky 108, Dominican Republic National Select Team 56

  • This was Kentucky’s first exhibition game of the Big Blue Bahamas foreign exhibition tour. UK will play three additional games during the tour.
  • The Wildcats return to the Baha Mar Grand Ballroom court on Thursday vs. Tech de Monterrey (Mexico). That game will tip at 7 p.m. on the SEC Network.
  • UK improved to 10-1 in the Bahamas foreign tours. The Wildcats went 5-1 in their first foreign tour in the Bahamas in 2014 and 4-0 in their second stint in 2018.
  • Kentucky is 141-12 all-time in exhibition games and has won 20 straight. UK is 38-1 in exhibition contests under head coach John Calipari.

First-Half Facts

  • Kentucky’s starting lineup featured Sahvir Wheeler, Antonio Reeves, Jacob Toppin, Daimion Collins and Oscar Tshiebwe.
  • Toppin scored the first points of the trip with a pair of free throws after snaring an offensive rebound on the Cats’ first offensive possession.
  • Chris Livingston, Cason Wallace and Lance Ware were UK’s first subs. They entered at the 16:07 mark.
  • UK jumped out to a 9-5 lead at the first media timeout. Collins drained an outside jumper, Reeves hit a 3-pointer and Tshiebwe converted a hook-shot off a Wheeler entry pass in the spurt.
  • Kentucky’s defense flustered the Dominicans into four early turnovers before the first media timeout.
  • Collins electrified the crowd with a thunderous slam and a traditional 3-point play to move the score to 23-13 with 8:43 to play.
  • Adou Thiero and CJ Fredrick made their debut at the 5:52 mark. Thiero promptly swiped a steal and made a fastbreak dunk.
  • A 3-pointer by Livingston lifted the Cats to a 20-point edge, but the Dominicans made a jumper just before halftime for the break’s margin of 43-25.
  • UK’s defense registered seven blocked shots and eight steals, while forcing the Dominicans into 11 first-half turnovers.
  • Nine of Kentucky’s 10 players scored in the half, paced by nine from Reeves who made a trio of 3s.
  • Livingston led the way on the boards with six, but the Dominicans owned a 20-18 edge in the category.

Second-Half Story

  • Wallace, Fredrick, Livingston, Collins and Ware opened the second half.
  • The Cats began the half on a 9-0 run and forced the Dominicans into a timeout. Fredrick found Livingston for a corner 3, followed by dunks from Ware, Collins and Wallace.
  • Wallace was the first Cat to reach double-figure scoring with a 3-pointer from the top of the key with 16:47 to play.
  • A steal and 360-dunk by Toppin was followed by a swipe and lay in from Wheeler to push the lead to 33 at 75-42 with 10:07 to go.
  • A traditional 3-point play from Tshiebwe off a nice feed from Collins lifted Kentucky to a 95-52 lead with 4:18 remaining.
  • Brennan Canada made his first appearance with 4:18 to go.
  • A dunk from Tshiebwe put the Cats over the century mark with 2:09 to play.
  • Kareem Watkins entered the game at the 3:43 mark, while Grant Darybshire and Walker Horn checked in at the 2:04 mark.
  • Tshiebwe led all scorers with 13 in the second half. Collins had 10 and Wallace chipped in with nine.
  • Following a 3-pointer from Canada, UK had its biggest lead at 52 points with 29 seconds to play.
  • Kentucky shot 26-41 (63.4%) in the second half and registered three blocks and five steals.

Team Notes

  • Kentucky used its size to good advantage, outrebounding the Dominicans 43-35 and winning points in the paint, 56-20.
  • Six Wildcats scored in double figures.
  • Kentucky scored 23 points off turnovers and had 30 fastbreak points.
  • UK had 10 blocks, compared with three for the Dominican National Team.
  • UK dished out 28 assists and had just five turnovers.
  • Six players registered three or more assists.
  • The Wildcats shot well from all parts of the floor.
  • UK was 42-74 (56.5) from the floor.
  • Kentucky connected on 11-26 (42.3%) from long range.
  • The Cats shot 13-14 (92.9%) at the free-throw line.

Player Notes

  • Oscar Tshiebwe led all scorers with 17 points, including 13 in the second half. He was 8 of 11 from the floor.
  • He also contributed six rebounds and a steal.
  • Daimion Collins had an all-around game with 15 points, five rebounds, five assists, two blocks and one steal.
  • Had it been a regular-season game, Collins’ point total and assists would have been career highs.
  • Cason Wallace contributed 15 points and a team-high 26 minutes of action.
  • Wallace also had five rebounds, three assists and two blocks.
  • Antonio Reeves sunk four 3-pointers and tallied 12 points.
  • It would have marked the 22nd time in his career he made at least three 3-pointers.
  • Chris Livingston was the sixth Wildcat to reach double-digit scoring. He contributed in a variety of ways with three 3-pointers, a team-high eight rebounds and four assists.
  • Jacob Toppin chipped in with eight points and a team-high three steals.
  • Adou Thiero was a menace defensively with three blocks and two steals. He also tallied seven points and three assists on the offensive end.
  • Brennan Canada sank a pair of late 3-pointers. Had it been a regular-season game, it would have been his first made 3-pointer and a career high in points.