Kentucky closes first half strong to lead Arkansas 53-48

On3 imageby:Tyler Thompson03/02/24


Arkansas came into today’s game as a double-digit underdog, but so far, the Hogs are hanging with the Cats. After 20 minutes of play, No. 16 Kentucky leads Arkansas 53-48. It’s been a wild game with ten ties, eleven lead changes, and not a lot of defense.

It was a back-and-forth battle from the start, with Arkansas deciding to run with fast-paced Cats. After the Razorbacks jumped out to an early lead, DJ Wagner hit two threes to even the score at six. For the next 15 minutes, the teams traded the lead, with Eric Musselman picking up a technical at the 5:45 mark for arguing that Ugonna Onyenso traveled getting a rebound that led to a monster Adou Thiero dunk.

Kentucky took the lead at the 2:44 mark and kept it thanks to some huge plays by Reed Sheppard and Aaron Bradshaw. Khalif Battle did an excellent job guarding Sheppard for most of the half, but Reed broke free to hit huge back-to-back threes. A three and two free throws by Aaron Bradshaw capped off a 15-3 Kentucky run with 36 seconds to go. Arkansas’ Tramon Mark hit a three of his own to pull the Razorbacks within five at half.

Both teams are making over half their shots, with Arkansas making 57.6% and Kentucky 51.6%. Antonio Reeves and Aaron Bradshaw lead the Cats in scoring with 14 and 12 so far, followed by DJ Wagner with 9 and Reed Sheppard with 8. Tre Mitchell, who returned to the lineup after missing four games with a sprained shoulder, has two points, two rebounds, an assist, and a steal in 11 minutes. Strong finish to the half and a very encouraging performance by Bradshaw, who had fallen to the back of the frontcourt rotation.

In other first-half news, Will Levis and Wan’Dale Robinson are in the house, as is Meemaw, KSR’s favorite Toronto correspondent.

Photo by Dr. Michael Huang | Kentucky Sports Radio
Photo by Dr. Michael Huang | Kentucky Sports Radio

First Half Box Score

First Half Highlights

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