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John Calipari and Wildcats recap Louisville, plus postgame notes

Kentucky improves to 9-2 after smashing the Cards.

John Calipari Drew Brown - A Sea Of Blue

The Kentucky Wildcats were on the road for the 2023 edition of their rivalry matchup with the Louisville Cardinals, but it was the BBN that painted the Yum Center blue.

The Cats would reward those fans with a dominant 95-76 win over the Cards, the 13th time in 16 tries John Calipari has beat Louisville as head coach of Kentucky.

Antonio Reeves scored a game-high 30, while Reed Sheppard dished out a career-high 11 assists to go with 11 points.

Tre Mitchell notched his own double-double at 18 points and 12 boards.

After the game, Calipari and select players met with the media to discuss win No. 9. Here is a recap of what they had to say via UK Athletics.


And here are the postgame notes and milestones via UK Athletics.

Team Records and Series Notes

  • Kentucky is 9-2 on the season, Louisville is 5-7.
  • Kentucky leads the series 39-17 and has won two in a row.
  • UK leads 14-10 in games played in Louisville.
  • UK is 133-36 all-time in games played vs. any opponent in the city of Louisville.
  • Next for Kentucky: UK returns to action Friday, Dec. 29 as the Wildcats host Illinois State at 7 p.m. The game will be televised on the SEC Network.

Team Notes

  • UK scored 95 points tonight. The Wildcats entered the game sixth in the nation at 90.2 per game.
  • It is the most points ever by a Louisville opponent in the Yum! Center.
  • It is the most points for UK vs. Louisville since a 103-89 win on Dec. 28, 1991.
  • Kentucky shot 51.5% from the field, 35 of 68. It is the fifth time this season that the Wildcats have made at least half their shots in a game.
  • Kentucky made 12 of 25 3-point shots. The Wildcats entered the game 15th in the nation with 10.4 long balls made per game.
  • UK shot 48% on 3-pointers, entered the contest fifth nationally at 40.8%.
  • Kentucky won the rebounding, 37-35. UK is 6-0 this season when leading the boardwork.
  • UK got 11 offensive rebounds, leading to a 15-10 advantage in second-chance points.
  • UK dished out 19 assists, entered the game 11th in the country with 19.1 per game.
  • Sparked by 12 points from Rob Dillingham and 11 from Reed Sheppard, UK won bench points 30-15.
  • Kentucky blocked eight shots tonight, one shy of the season-high nine in the previous game vs. North Carolina.
  • Kentucky led by as many as 26 points. UK is 337-15 (95.7%) in the Calipari era when leading by at least 10 points at any time in the contest.
  • Five Wildcats scored in double figures tonight, the fifth game this season that has been accomplished.

Player Notes

  • Antonio Reeves tallied 30 points and was named the game’s Most Valuable Player by the Bluegrass Sports Commission.
  • It is the most points for a Wildcat vs. Louisville in the Calipari era, previous best was 27 by Tyrese Maxey on Dec. 28, 2019.
  • It is the most for a Wildcat vs. Louisville since Tony Delk scored 30 on December 23, 1995.
  • It is Reeves’ second 30-point game at Kentucky, also scoring 37 last season at Arkansas.
  • He extended his streak of 22 consecutive games with a 3-pointer, longest since Jamal Murray’s school-record 36-game streak in the 2015-16 season.
  • Tre Mitchell had 18 points and 12 rebounds, his first double-double at Kentucky, and the 12th of his collegiate career.
  • He has had at least four boards in every game this season.
  • He added three blocks and two steals.
  • Reed Sheppard notched his first double-double with 11 points and a career-high 11 assists.
  • 11 assists are the most ever for a Wildcat vs. Louisville. The previous mark was nine assists by Dicky Beal, Richie Farmer and Sahvir Wheeler.
  • He also had two steals, extending his streak of at least two steals in every game this season.
  • He led the team in the plus/minus statistic with a mark of +27.
  • Justin Edwards had 13 points, his seventh double-figure game of the season, and tied his season high of seven rebounds.
  • Rob Dillingham had 12 points. He has scored in double figures in every game but one this season.

Coach John Calipari

  • Calipari has an 841-255 (76.7%) all-time on-court record, including 396-115 (77.5%) at Kentucky.
  • Calipari is 325-65 (83.3%) at UK against unranked competition.
  • Calipari is 19-8 vs. Louisville, including 13-3 as coach at Kentucky.
  • Calipari is 20-1 in games coached against former assistant coaches.

In the First Half

  • Kentucky started D.J. Wagner, Antonio Reeves, Justin Edwards, Aaron Bradshaw and Tre Mitchell for the second game in a row.
  • Rob Dillingham and Reed Sheppard were UK’s first substitutions with 17:23 remaining.
  • Louisville scored the first five points. UK did not score on its first five possessions, but got on the board at the 16:30 mark with a pair of free throws by Dillingham.
  • UK took its first lead, 9-7, on a Reeves basket at the 15:03 mark.
  • Trailing 17-16, Kentucky went on a 15-1 spurt for a 31-18 lead, coaxing a Louisville timeout with 8:20 on the clock. UK scored on six straight possessions during that stretch.
  • All totaled, UK scored on nine straight possessions, turning a 15-14 deficit into a 36-22 advantage.
  • Reeves hit a 3-pointer with five seconds left, giving UK its largest lead, 53-33, going into halftime.
  • It is UK’s second-largest halftime lead in the history of the series. UK led by 21 at intermission on Jan. 17, 1922.
  • Reeves had 22 points in the first half, going 9-of-10 from the field, including 4-of-4 on 3-pointers.
  • After missing their first five shots, the Wildcats made 19-of-30 (63.3%) the remainder of the half.
  • After not scoring on the first five possessions, UK scored 53 points on 30 possessions, an average of 1.77 per possession.

In the Second Half

  • Kentucky began the second half with the starting lineup.
  • UK scored the first five points of the half, extending the lead to 58-33.
  • UK led by as many as 26 points at 60-34 and 62-36.
  • UofL got within 17 points on two occasions but no closer.