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At the buzzer: No. 16 Kentucky men’s basketball defeats St. Joseph’s 96-88 in overtime

Samuel Colmar
Kentucky guard Antonio Reeves (12) goes for a layup during the Kentucky vs. Saint Josephs men’s basketball game on Monday, Nov. 20, 2023, at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky. Photo by Samuel Colmar | Staff

No. 16 Kentucky men’s basketball (4-1) defeated St. Joseph’s (3-2) 96-88 in overtime inside Rupp Arena on Monday.

The Wildcats entered the game on the back of a dominant 101-67 win over Stonehill on Friday.

Entering the game looking to pick up a second-consecutive win, Kentucky took the court at Rupp Arena with a starting lineup of Justin Edwards, Adou Thiero, D.J. Wagner, Antonio Reeves and Tre Mitchell.

While the game featured yet another slow start for the Cats, who trailed 9-7 at the first timeout, unselfish play and stronger defense saw Kentucky get right back into it and find itself level at the second break.

Despite the resurgence, St. Joseph’s refused to back down and hung around throughout the first half, not allowing the Cats any lead larger than eight points.

A late 3-point frenzy by the Hawks even saw the visitors tie the game at 38 before Mitchell gave the Cats the necessary bucket to take a lead into the break.

Kentucky came out of the break hot and even took its largest lead of the night, but the Hawks refused to go down quietly and, with some key 3-point shooting, remained close by nearly halfway through the second half.

While fans in attendance may not have been worried, the minutes continued to tick away and the Hawks continued to refuse to go away.

Down to a minute left on the clock, Kentucky found itself in a one-score game with a real chance at being upset.

This was only further exacerbated by yet another 3-pointer from the Hawks, giving them the lead for the first time in the second half.

With fans holding their breaths and eager anticipation flowing throughout the arena, Wagner was given the opportunity to win the game with it tied at 77-all, but his shot bounced off the rim, sending the Cats into their first overtime game of the year.

Insert Mitchell.

While the Hawks continued to keep it stressful, Kentucky never surrendered the lead given to it by Mitchell, eventually earning the victory and even slightly pulling away late.

Kentucky will return to action on Friday, Nov. 24, at home against Marshall. Tip-off against the Thundering Herd is scheduled for 7 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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