Unfortunately, the Cats were without their starting point guard as Cason Wallace was dealing with a leg issue.
It was a rough start for the Cats, especially on defense, as the Rebels scored 13 points by the first media timeout and held a 13-8 lead.
Once again, Antonio Reeves comes off the bench and makes a big impact drilling three 3s and giving Kentucky a 21-17 lead with just under 10 minutes left in the half.
With 4 minutes remaining, it looked like the Cats were on the verge of taking control of this game holding a 29-23 lead after a Jacob Toppin layup.
However, the Rebels fought back and took a 32-30 lead before the Cats were able to send this one to halftime tied at 32.
After the first few minutes in the second half, Reeves once again made a massive impact as he scored 8 straight points and gave Kentucky a 43-37 lead.
With just under 14 minutes to go, Kentucky led 45-41. Then the Cats finally started to take the game over.
The defense improved and those stops led to easier offensive opportunities allowing them to build a 58-45 lead at the under-8 timeout.
Right after the timeout, Ole Miss would go on a run to immediately get it back down to a 58-51 ballgame.
However, Kentucky responded very well and down the stretch did exactly what they needed to in order to close this one out and get the 75-66 win.
Here is how Twitter reacted to the win:
Starting five tonight ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/NM5u0CeqmS— Kentucky Men’s Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) February 1, 2023
Cason Wallace is being held out tonight for precautionary reasons (lower extremity). He is considered day to day.— Kentucky Men’s Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) February 1, 2023
Kentucky Defense allows 13 points before the first TV timeout— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) February 1, 2023
Finally some life from the Kentucky bench after that Reeves' THREE! Cats have tied it up at 15.— John Huang (@KYHuangs) February 1, 2023
Nice response by UK. Getting next to nothing from Toppin at this point, which I imagine changes.— T.J. Walker (@TJWalkerRadio) February 1, 2023
Would like to see Antonio Reeves play some point given his ability to create off the dribble.— Tristan Pharis (@TristanUda) February 1, 2023
This has got to be the worst away crowd ever for a Kentucky basketball game— Big Blue Nation #BBN (@UKBasketbalI) February 1, 2023
Cal is the only coach in America who says, nah. We don’t need to play 2 shooters on the court at once. SMDH.— cobbycobb (@cobbycobb_UK) February 1, 2023
More Antonio Reeves!!!!— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) February 1, 2023
Such a pure shot
Adou Thiero immediately comes in the game and attacks the basket, draws a foul. Pins a shot on the backboard on the other end.— Jack Pilgrim (@JackPilgrimKSR) February 1, 2023
Love that kid, man.
Adou is fearless. CJ has the yips.— John Huang (@KYHuangs) February 1, 2023
Cats can’t be as sleepy as this atmosphere in Oxford— BEEZY (@Burke_Franklin_) February 1, 2023
Lord have mercy, Prestonsburg HS has better crowds even in the snow
Didn’t have Adou to Damion Collins for a dunk on my Oxford 9 o’clock tip bingo card! Go cats! #BBN— Luke troxell (@loutroxell) February 1, 2023
Ole Miss students booing CJ Fredrick on every touch for no reason makes me laugh.— Jack Pilgrim (@JackPilgrimKSR) February 1, 2023
Daimion AND ONE pic.twitter.com/nHFPfj42lN— Kentucky Men’s Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) February 1, 2023
Adou Thiero is a warrior. Love having him on the Cats. Reminds me of D Hawkins!— Dawson Rule (@DawsonInRKY) February 1, 2023
Adou’s got that grit, man. Will take whatever is thrown at him at any moment. You can’t teach that, you can only beg a player to have it.— Tres Terrell (@TerrellTres) February 1, 2023
You gotta win this game. I don’t care who is hurt. You can’t lose this game— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) February 1, 2023
Sahvir Wheeler is the first player out of the locker room to start the 2nd half and will give it a go.— Tristan Pharis (@TristanUda) February 1, 2023
Is wearing new shoes, noticeably higher to protect his ankle.
Wheeler receives a lot of criticism, but is still out there fighting to help this team.pic.twitter.com/PNRCqoSf2H
You don't even need to have two feet on the ground to draw a charge in college basketball.— Nick Roush (@RoushKSR) February 1, 2023
I think Collins needs to come back in the game at some point. The energy he brought was different than anyone on the floor.— Bradley McKee (@Bradley_B_Roll) February 1, 2023
Chris at the 4— Berkley’s Pops ™️ (@BrandoAKing) February 1, 2023
This offense really struggles to create without Wallace at the 1 and Cj just isn’t giving much on offense at all.— Dylan Ballard (@DylanBallard_UK) February 1, 2023
Kentucky needs him to step up tonight and in general
What more proof do you need that Antonio Reeves needs to play as many minutes as possible?— Chris Fisher (@ChrisFisher247) February 1, 2023
Sixth Man of the Year Antonio Reeves— Drew Franklin (@DrewFranklinKSR) February 1, 2023
Antonio Reeves having a Kellan Grady February would be nice— Matt Sak (@MattSakBBN) February 1, 2023
Give Antonio the ball and get out of the way— Big Blue Nation #BBN (@UKBasketbalI) February 1, 2023
Reeves gonna have to win this game for UK. The Cats only offensive option and that’s quite literal.— T.J. Walker (@TJWalkerRadio) February 1, 2023
Now if I’m Cal I put CJ back in for Livingston or Toppin and let Reeves/CJ have a little two-man game. CJ can’t miss em all…
Antonio please come back next season.— Berkley’s Pops ™️ (@BrandoAKing) February 1, 2023
Gotta love the grit from Sahvir.— Big Blue Nation #BBN (@UKBasketbalI) February 1, 2023
Kid is playing on one leg but still out there trying to help this team
Jacob has the “ima make every shot as difficult as possible” tendency— (@TheA1God) February 1, 2023
Can we not do the Wheeler late clock stuff? Reeves is right there— Sean Vinsel (@HoopsInsight) February 1, 2023
Great Full Court Defense by Sahvir. That is his best skill— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) February 1, 2023
Wheeler up to 9 assists and 0 turnovers now.— Jeff Drummond (@JDrumUK) February 1, 2023
Want to see effort?— Tristan Pharis (@TristanUda) February 1, 2023
Here is Sahvir Wheeler forcing a 10-second call. Watch the reaction of his teammates afterward.
Love it. pic.twitter.com/tXfZViVOjA
Shout out to the guy screaming “Go big blue” solo in Oxford— Mark Stoops Burner Parody (@BBN_Commenter) February 1, 2023
Could hear it clearly on the broadcast
Reeves averages 24 minutes a game. How is that even possible? He’s gotta be in the 33-34 range moving forward, just has to.— Michael Paul Clark (@UKDad21) February 1, 2023
Never take winning for granted!!!— Brandon Ramsey (@BRamseyKSR) February 1, 2023
ESPECIALLY never take winning road conference games for granted!
You take that one every day of the week if you are Coach Calipari and Kentucky.
Now, on to the next one...a MUCH tougher game on Saturday versus Florida.
All things considered not bad. Needed to win and we did and quite comfortably down the stretch. Need to bring it Saturday.— Matt Sak (@MattSakBBN) February 1, 2023