The ‘Basketball Benny’ lineup of Cason Wallace, CJ Fredrick, Antonio Reeves, Jacob Toppin, and Oscar Tshiebwe again proving to be the lineup that works best for Kentucky, with a +18 margin on the night.
It was a sloppy first half, especially defensively, after such a positive performance on that side of the ball in Knoxville a few days prior. Kentucky let up 41 points to the Bulldogs in the first half, getting beat to the basket on every occasion.
The second half, however, was different. Oscar Tshiebwe took over, a legendary night in fact, going for a career-high 37 points and 24 rebounds.
The defense also adjusted, allowing just 29 points in the second half; Kentucky scored 51.
Kentucky gets their first win in a three-game stretch before hosting Kansas in less than two weeks. All three games are must-wins at this point, against teams that are proving to be better than expected.
Kentucky gets the fighting Buzz Williams’s at home on Saturday as they host Texas A&M, and then travel to Nashville to take on Vanderbilt next Tuesday before the Jayhawks come to town.
If Kentucky can string together these wins, we’re back in business.
Here’s what Twitter had to say:
Cats over Dogs. pic.twitter.com/mRDvkiXnXB— Kentucky Men’s Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) January 18, 2023
Big O takes it himself off the steal pic.twitter.com/8i5HNvJPEN— Kentucky Men’s Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) January 18, 2023
Truly the most childish group of officials I can remember in recent memory. Unserious.— Jack Pilgrim (@JackPilgrimKSR) January 18, 2023
Oscar got the clothesline from hell and no call but a dude lowers his shoulder and tries to hit stick him and gets a personal. Please make it make sense— KG (@__NotKG) January 18, 2023
John Calipari called for a tech with 6:30 to go in the game https://t.co/h2PmFAvCNS— Jack Pilgrim (@JackPilgrimKSR) January 18, 2023
Oscar Tshiebwe is taking over the game to start the second half, scoring eight straight points. Followed by a three from CJ Fredrick to give Kentucky a 46-45 lead!— Tristan Pharis (@TristanUda) January 18, 2023
Watch the reaction of the bench. Love the energy!#BBN pic.twitter.com/tz8B67yxJM
Jacob Toppin hasn't been perfect, but his energy has been awesome the past few games and makes Kentucky so much better. 8 points and 11 rebounds in 35 minutes so far.— Tyler Thompson (@MrsTylerKSR) January 18, 2023
And, oh yeah, a career-high 31 points for Oscar Tshiebwe, along with 21 rebounds.
Toppin has made mistakes but he has had some big Rebounds tonight where he got really high in the air— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) January 18, 2023
Oscar. NPOY. Tshiebwe. pic.twitter.com/Nf4bI3Q2ZA— Kentucky Men’s Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) January 18, 2023
This is vintage Oscar tonight. What an all-time performance. #bbn— morrisoncrying (@morrisoncrying) January 18, 2023
SEC refs whenever they get a Kentucky game: pic.twitter.com/TTgTCrZzkK— KY Clips (@KY__Clips) January 18, 2023
I’ve stood by Sahvir all season, but now you can’t deny that we play better without him on the court.— The Kentucky Network (@KentuckyNet) January 18, 2023
Oscar dominating is the story but I think roles are starting to become a lot more defined for this team.— Justin Rowland (@RowlandRIVALS) January 18, 2023
Kentucky won the second half by 22 points— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) January 18, 2023
Cason Wallace was the Point Guard for the entire Half outside of one play
At this point it is what it is
Basketball Bennies Know All— Joe Sonka (@joesonka) January 18, 2023
Cason will just get better and better…..and better running the show. And they are MUCH better with him having the ball in his hands. IT’S SO OBVIOUS !!— alan cutler (@cutler18) January 18, 2023
37 and 24. God I’m still processing that— morrisoncrying (@morrisoncrying) January 18, 2023
Oscar Tshiebwe’s 37 points is the most points scored by a UK player since De’Aaron Fox’s 39 against UCLA— corey (@coreycaudbbn) January 18, 2023
That's the Oscar Tshiebwe we all know and love. Huge evening: 37 points, 24 rebounds.— Matt Norlander (@MattNorlander) January 18, 2023
SEC's first 30/20 game South Carolina's Sindarius Thornwell went for 44 and 21 back in February of 2017.
FINAL: Kentucky defeats Georgia 85-71 to move to 12-6 on the year— Jack Pilgrim (@JackPilgrimKSR) January 18, 2023
Oscar Tshiebwe with a career-high 37 points (12-20 FG, 13-18 FT), 24 rebounds, three steals and a block
Cason Wallace with 17 points (7-11 FG, 2-4 3PT), Antonio Reeves and Jacob Toppin with 11 points each
+16 today if anyone was wondering— Dylan Ballard (@DylanBallard_UK) January 18, 2023
The game was tied at 57-57 with 12 minutes to go when they entered the game for the first time in the second half pic.twitter.com/7jhZOLZE27
The stellar play from Kentucky's A+ lineup of Wallace, Reeves, Fredrick, Toppin, and Tshiebwe continues!— Evan Miyakawa (@EvanMiya) January 18, 2023
Cal used the lineup a lot and it worked, as it outscored Georgia 37-19 tonight. All other lineups were outscored 52-48.
See all the lineup data at https://t.co/cegyfz96ax.
Oscar Tshiebwe with a monster game vs. Georgia with 37 points & 24 rebounds. Only UK player to have more than that was Bill Spivey's 40 points & 34 rebounds vs. Xavier on 13-FEB-1951.— bigbluehistory (@bigbluehistory) January 18, 2023
Only opposing player was Indiana's Steve Downing with 47 points & 25 rebounds on 11-DEC-1971. pic.twitter.com/kFaoeHq4L5