UK pulls away from Ole Miss to win fourth straight game


Wenyen Gabriel holds up three fingers after making a three in the first half of Kentucky’s game against Ole Miss in Lexington, Ky. on Feb. 28, 2018. Photo by Hunter Mitchell

In their final home regular season game of the season, Kentucky extended their win streak to four with a 96-78 victory over Ole Miss.

The win brings Kentucky’s record to 21-9, and gives them their first four game win streak since early December. Five UK players scored in double figures, with Kevin Knox leading the way with 22 points.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander was three rebounds away from a triple-double, finishing with 17 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds.

Kentucky led for 36:56 of the game, but the Cats struggled to pull away from the Rebels in the second half. UK led by only single digits all through the second half until Gilgeous-Alexander made a layup with 11:18 remaining in the game, pushing the Cats’ lead to 10.

After Gilgeous-Alexander’s layup, the Rebels went on a 7-0 run to trim the lead back down to three. Ole Miss got five points on one possession when Breein Tyree dunked on Wenyen Gabriel, and Gabriel responded by shoving Tyree.

Gabriel would be assessed a technical foul and Tyree made 1-2 free throws. On the following possession Bruce Stevens got open for a dunk to cap-off the five-point possession.

Gabriel wasn’t the only one to pick up a technical foul, as five technical fouls were called throughout the whole game. Two were called on Ole Miss’ Marcanvis Hymon, who was ejected after his second technical foul call just 3:24 into the game.

After Ole Miss trimmed UK’s lead to six with 7:50 remaining, the Cats went on a 10-0 run to take a 16-point lead. UK would go on to lead by as much as 20 before the final buzzer.

Four of the points during UK’s 10-0 run came from the free throw line, where the Cats excelled at on Wednesday night. UK shot 20 more free throws than the Rebels, making 26 of their 35 attempts. 

Gilgeous-Alexander would knock down 11 of those free throws en route to his 17-point performance.

UK’s offense was also efficient away from the free throw line, knocking down 50 percent of their shots. This was the first time since UK’s game against Louisville that the Cats scored above 90 points.

UK will play their final regular season game this Saturday at Florida, who is also 10-7 in SEC play. Tipoff is at noon.