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Kentucky Kernel

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At the buzzer: No. 16 Kentucky holds strong, defeats Arkansas 111-102

Samuel Colmar
Kentucky guard Antonio Reeves (12) celebrates after hitting a three during the No. 17 Kentucky vs. Gonzaga men’s basketball game on Saturday, Feb. 10, 2024, at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky. Kentucky lost 89-85. Photo by Samuel Colmar | Staff

No. 16 Kentucky men’s basketball defeated the Arkansas Razorbacks 111-102 in the penultimate home game of the season on Saturday.

It was a high-scoring affair in Lexington as Antonio Reeves led the Cats with 22 points and six different Wildcats cracked double figures.

The Wildcats entered the game on the back of a buzzer-beating road win over Mississippi State, which itself followed a blowout home win over No. 14 Alabama.

Looking to continue their good fortune, the Cats trotted out a home lineup consisting of Justin Edwards, Reeves, D.J. Wagner, Adou Thiero and Ugonna Onyenso.

Less than four minutes into the game, with Arkansas scoring freely, Kentucky made four substitutions, inserting freshman stars Rob Dillingham, Reed Sheppard and Zvonimir Ivišić, along with veteran Tre Mitchell, who made his return after missing four games due to injury.

Defense would be next to nonexistent for much of the half, with Kentucky leading 22-19 after eight minutes of play.

With neither team having much success stopping the scoring — barring the Cats briefly going cold from the field — it would be Aaron Bradshaw who would make his presence most known, nailing 12 points in the first half and his first 3-pointer since early January.

Arkansas head coach Eric Musselman would receive a technical foul in the half as Kentucky entered the break leading by five.

Kentucky would struggle to start the second half, allowing a 6-0 Arkansas scoring run that saw the Hogs get back within three points.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, the run quickly became 10-0, which allowed the Hogs to take the lead.

While Kentucky would retake the advantage, the Hogs powered forward once again, this time with an 8-0 run, and boasted a seven-point lead with nearly eight minutes remaining.

The Cats refused to stay down, however, and, with five players scoring in double figures, surged back ahead 95-92 with under four minutes to play.

With nearly three minutes remaining, Arkansas would take another hit as Trevon Brazile fouled out of the game, becoming the second Hog to do so.

With Kentucky’s offense refusing to slow down, the Cats were able to push ahead to an electric, albeit ugly, home victory.

Kentucky will return to action on Wednesday, March 6, when it hosts Vanderbilt for its senior day and final home game of the season. Tip-off against the Commodores is slated for 9 p.m. ET and will air live on the SEC Network.

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

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