Antonio Reeves led five Kentucky players in double figures with 21 points as the 16th-ranked Wildcats rebounded from a slow start to defeat Texas A&M-Commerce 81-61 on Friday in Lexington, Ky.
Tre Mitchell contributed 18 points and eight rebounds for the Wildcats (2-0), while Justin Edwards (16 points), Rob Dillingham (12) and D.J. Wagner (11) also made significant dents in the scoresheet.
Kalen Williams scored 19 points and Tommie Lewis had 18 to pace the Lions (0-3).
Texas A&M-Commerce stormed out of the gates with eight straight points — all by Lewis — leading to a quick timeout by the Wildcats. Kentucky got on the board on its next possession, but Williams’ 3-pointer in response showed that the Lions were not going away.
Indeed, the visitors went on an 8-0 run shortly thereafter to take a stunning 19-6 lead. Jerome Brewer Jr. and Evan Phelps each made a 3-pointer during that stretch.
Texas A&M-Commerce still led by 13 after eight minutes had elapsed before Kentucky started to find its footing. The hosts used a 19-3 run to tilt the scoreboard in their favor, although they did not begin to create much separation until Reeves’ 3-point barrage late in the first half.
Reeves’ triple with 4:09 to go gave the Wildcats a four-point lead, and then he made another for a 35-28 advantage. Williams answered with a layup, but Reeves drained one more 3-pointer in the final minute of the half to create a 38-30 cushion at the break.
Reeves was 3 of 5 from 3-point range in the first half, while his teammates were 1 of 7.
The game was still relatively tight (43-37) early in the second half when Kentucky used a 14-3 run to crush the pesky Lions.
Dillingham began the surge with a jumper and a 3-pointer, and Reeves made a 3-pointer for a 55-40 advantage. Edwards’ dunk about a minute later put an exclamation point on the Wildcats’ decisive push.
Kentucky led by at least 12 for the duration of the game.
–Field Level Media
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