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Kentucky Kernel

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At the buzzer: No. 22 Kentucky earns top 15 win at No. 13 Auburn

Samuel Colmar
Kentucky fans cheer after a timeout is called during the Kentucky vs Vanderbilt mens basketball game on Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2024, at Memorial Gymnasium in Nashville, Tennessee. Kentucky won 109-77. Photo by Samuel Colmar | Staff

No. 22 Kentucky men’s basketball earned a massive road win over No. 13 Auburn inside Neville Arena in Alabama on Saturday.

Winning 70-59, the Cats were led by Antonio Reeves, who scored 22 points.

The Wildcats entered the game on the back of a bounce-back win over Ole Miss at home, which ended a three-game home losing streak for the Cats.

Looking to earn a second straight win — this time on the road — Kentucky brought out a starting lineup of Reeves, Justin Edwards, Adou Thiero, D.J. Wagner and Ugonna Onyenso. The Cats would be behind before tip-off with the news that veteran starter Tre Mitchell would be OUT for the game.

Despite a sold-out crowd in Neville Arena, Kentucky started the game hot, capitalizing on Auburn mistakes to lead by nearly double digits and force AU head coach Bruce Pearl to call a timeout.

Kentucky continued to hold the lead, with the score standing at 27-18 with under four minutes remaining in the first half thanks to back-to-back three-point plays by Thiero.

While Cats fans in attendance may have been frustrated with UK’s final possession before the break, Kentucky went into halftime with a double digit lead in enemy territory.

The second half would quickly devolve into a mess of fouls, with eight personal fouls — including a flagrant foul on Auburn — being called in the first five minutes.

Unfortunately for the visiting Cats, the next stretch of the half would not be kind as Kentucky failed to hit a shot for over two minutes and turned the ball over four times, allowing a 6-0 scoring run for the Tigers.

On the other hand, in college basketball, fortunes can quickly change.

Kentucky would extend its lead up to 16 points before Edwards fouled out of the game for Kentucky with over five minutes remaining.

Auburn would propel itself on another 6-0 scoring run to get back within 10 points with just over three minutes remaining.

The Tigers continued to claw back to make it interesting, but Kentucky was able to muster up just enough to hold on and secure the win on the road.

Kentucky will return to action on Wednesday, Feb. 21, inside the Pete Maravich Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, against the LSU Tigers. Tip-off down south is scheduled for 9 p.m. ET and will air live on ESPN.

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About the Contributors
Cole Parke, Sports Editor
Samuel Colmar, Assistant Photo Editor

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