FINAL: Kentucky easily takes care of Kentucky State in final exhibition
The offense sure did step it up in Kentucky’s final exhibition game of the preseason.
On Thursday night in Rupp Arena, the No. 5 Wildcats easily took care of Divison II opponent, the Kentucky State Thorobreds, 111-53 in what was the second of two preseason contests for UK. It was a dominant showing all evening long from the ‘Cats, who were down to just eight scholarship players due to various injuries and absences. The lack of depth didn’t bother Kentucky though as they ripped off a triple-digit scoring effort after putting up just 56 points in the first exhibition on Sunday.
Antonio Reeves led the way for the ‘Cats, finishing with a game-high 23 points on 7-14 shooting (5-10 from deep). He was aided by 21 points, six rebounds, and three assists from Jacob Toppin while CJ Fredrick finished with 14 points, five rebounds, and six assists with zero turnovers. As a team, Kentucky shot 50 percent from the floor and 12-26 from distance as six different Wildcats scored in double-figures.
Two minutes into the night, the score was knotted at 5-5. But at the first media timeout just a couple of minutes later, Kentucky led by double-digits. A few more minutes later, the advantage ballooned to 20-plus. From the jump, it was all ‘Cats everything and nothing would change. UK’s lead grew to as many as 40 points in the first half before settling on a 61-25 score the break. Walk-on Brennan Canada even saw some early minutes.
At the intermission, Kentucky was shooting 50 percent from both the floor (21-42) and behind the 3-point arc (8-16) while holding the Thorobreds to under 30 percent in both categories. Fredrick and Wallace led the way with 11 and 12 points, respectively, while Reeves went for 10 of his own. Fredrick also chipped in five first-half dimes while Wallace added three steals.
The second half got off to a slower start for the ‘Cats, but the lead continued to swell. Kentucky maintained at least a 40-point advantage throughout the half and eventually pushed it into the 50s. Reeves added another 10 points for UK while Ugonna Onyenso put up four points, four rebounds, and a pair of blocks across the final 20 minutes of action. Onyenso finished with four points, 10 rebounds, and four rejections for the night.
When the clock finally hit 0:00, Kentucky came away with the 58-point victory to close out exhibition play. The ‘Cats will now prepare for the regular season opener on Monday, Nov. 7 against Howard.