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John Calipari recaps Arkansas, plus postgame notes and updated SEC standings

Kentucky is just a game out of first place.

NCAA Basketball: Kentucky at Arkansas Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

It wasn’t pretty, but the Kentucky Wildcats got the job done, beating Arkansas 63-57 to get that bounce-back victory they so desperately needed.

Antonio Reeves led the way with 24 points, followed by 14 from Reed Sheppard, who also had five assists and four steals. Tre Mitchell chipped in another double-double with 10 points and 11 boards.

Up next, Kentucky gets a short break until Wednesday’s home matchup with the Florida Gators.

Now, here is a recap of what John Calipari said about beating Arkansas via UK Athletics.

Here are the updated SEC standings following an upset-filled week in league play via the SEC.

And here are the postgame notes and milestones from the win at Arkansas via UK Athletics.

Team Records and Series Notes

  • Kentucky is 15-4 on the season, 5-2 in the Southeastern Conference.
  • Arkansas is 10-10 overall, 1-6 in league play.
  • UK leads the series 35-14, including 11-8 in games played in Fayetteville.
  • UK has won the last two matchups, both played in Fayetteville.
  • Next for Kentucky: UK begins a two-game homestand Wednesday vs. Florida at 8 p.m. The game will be televised on ESPN.

Team Notes

  • Kentucky played its best defensive game of the SEC schedule tonight.
  • UK limited Arkansas to 57 points, 20 fewer than any SEC opponent this season.
  • UK held UA to 33.3% from the field, lowest of any SEC opponent this season.
  • UK held UA to 21.4% on 3-pointers, lowest of any SEC opponent this season.
  • Kentucky had 13 assists and nine turnovers, an assist/turnover ratio of +1.44.
  • UK entered the game fourth in the nation with a +1.84 ratio.
  • UK entered the game 10th in the nation in assists per game with 18.3.
  • Kentucky made 9 of 20 (45%) on 3-point shots, including 7 of 11 (63.6%) in the decisive second half.
  • The Wildcats entered the game eighth in the nation in 3-point percentage at 40.0%.
  • Kentucky had six blocked shots tonight. UK entered the game ninth in the nation with 5.7 blocks per game.
  • Since the North Carolina game on Dec. 16, the first game that UK had two of its seven-foot players available, the Wildcats have averaged 6.5 blocks per game.
  • In keeping Arkansas to 57 points tonight, UK is 217-10 (95.6%) under Coach John Calipari when limiting the opponents to 63 or fewer points, including 3-0 this season.
  • In keeping Arkansas to 33.3% shooting, UK is 237-24 (90.8%) under Calipari when limiting the opponent to 40% or less from the field.
  • Kentucky’s largest lead was 10 points (63-53). The Wildcats are 342-15 (95.8%) under Calipari when leading by 10 or more at some point during the game.
  • Kentucky is now 5-3 this season away from Rupp Arena, including 3-2 on the opponent’s home court.
  • Kentucky is now 4-0 this season in bounce-back games after losses.
  • Adou Thiero played for the first time since Dec. 21 (missed seven games) but Rob Dillingham did not play because of illness. UK has not played a game this season with all players available.

Player Notes

  • After scoring a career-high 37 points in last year’s win at Arkansas, Antonio Reeves led the Wildcats again with 24 points.
  • It is his 10th 20-point game of the season.
  • He has landed in double figures in every game but one this season.
  • Tre Mitchell tallied 10 points and a game-high 11 rebounds, his fourth double-double of the season.
  • Reed Sheppard had 14 points, four rebounds, a game-high five assists and four steals.
  • Almost all of the damage came in the second half with 14 points, three rebounds, four assists and two steals.
  • Sheppard helped ice the game with a pair of free throws with 39 seconds left. He entered the game 11 of 12 (91.7%) in clutch free throw situations.
  • Rob Dillingham did not play because of illness, the first game he has missed this season.

Coach John Calipari

  • Calipari has an 847-257 (76.7%) all-time on-court record, including 402-117 (77.5%) at Kentucky.
  • Calipari is 331-67 (83.2%) at UK against unranked competition.
  • Calipari is 15-9 vs. Arkansas.
  • Calipari is now 398-128 (75.7%) all-time in conference games, including 190-62 (75.4%) in the SEC.

In the First Half

  • Kentucky started D.J. Wagner, Antonio Reeves, Adou Thiero, Tre Mitchell and Aaron Bradshaw for the first time.
  • Reed Sheppard was UK’s first substitution at the 17:16 mark.
  • Kentucky missed 15 of its first 16 shots, but was behind only 14-4 with 9:32 remaining.
  • The Wildcats gradually warmed to the task, pulling within one point at 21-20 and 23-22.
  • Arkansas went to halftime ahead 26-24. It is the second game in a row that UK scored a season low in the first half (25 at South Carolina).
  • UK is now 2-3 this season when trailing at halftime.

In the Second Half

  • Kentucky began the second half with Wagner, Reeves, Thiero, Mitchell and Ugonna Onyenso.
  • Kentucky tied it at 28 and 31 before Arkansas had a six-point burst for a 37-31 lead.
  • Kentucky countered with a 7-0 run – capped by a driving layup and steal-and-dunk by Sheppard – for its first lead at 38-37, coaxing an Arkansas timeout at the 12:54 mark.
  • Kentucky took a 42-41 lead with a Sheppard layup at the 10:21 and never trailed again.
  • Ahead 53-52, an eight-point spurt gave UK a 61-52 lead with 1:27 on the clock and the Wildcats led comfortably the rest of the way.
  • Reeves and Sheppard each had 14 points in the decisive second half, with Sheppard adding four assists in the second stanza.