FINAL: Kentucky MBB puts Central Michigan away early, winning 85-57
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FINAL: Kentucky MBB puts Central Michigan away early, winning 85-57

Zack Geogheganabout 2 months

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Article written by:Zack GeogheganZack Geoghegan

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Photo by Dr. Michael Huang | Kentucky Sports Radio

Tony Barbee’s return to Rupp Arena went about as many expected. No. 9 Kentucky Men’s Basketball (6-1) welcomed back its former assistant coach and the Central Michigan Chippewas (1-5) with the gift of an 85-57 loss on Monday night in Lexington.

Barbee was an assistant on John Calipari’s Kentucky staff from 2014-21 before taking the CMU head coaching job over the offseason. He brought his squad into Rupp Arena hoping to put up a fight, but dreams of an upset were shut down rather quickly.

Kentucky pretty much put this game to bed before it could ever begin. There was very much a “beating UCLA in 2014” type of vibe in Rupp Arena from the opening tip. UK quickly jumped ahead to a 25-5 lead not even seven minutes into the game. The advantage would balloon from there, eventually reaching as high as 31 points before settling on a halftime score of 51-25 in favor of UK.

Through the opening 20 minutes, the ‘Cats shot a dangerously efficient 52.6 percent from the floor including a 5-7 clip from 3-point range. Kentucky was dominating every major and minor statistic. CMU turned the ball over five more times in the first half, hauled in 11 fewer rebounds, and shot just 33.3 percent overall.

The second half was closer in terms of back-and-forth scoring, but Central Michigan never made a serious run. Kentucky didn’t let the Chippewas get closer than 25 points until the final minute, closing it out with a 28-point victory.

Kentucky had just two players finish in double-figure scoring, Oscar Tshiebwe and TyTy Washington, who added 20 and 15 points, respectively. However, six other Wildcats posted at least five points. UK closed the night with a shooting split of 43.1/26.9/66.7 and just six total turnovers.

Tshiebwe finished with 20 points, 16 rebounds, and three steals while Washington contributed his 15 points in addition to six boards on 6-11 shooting. Davion Mintz was sidelined for the third game in a row due to an illness.

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2022-01-21