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At the buzzer: No. 12 Kentucky men’s basketball records statement win over No. 8 Miami 95-73

Travis Fannon
Kentucky guard DJ Wagner passes the ball during the No. 12 Kentucky vs. No. 8 Miami men’s basketball game on Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2023, at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky. Kentucky won. Photo by Travis Fannon | Staff

No. 12 Kentucky men’s basketball (6-1) recorded a statement victory over No. 8 Miami FL (5-1) inside Rupp Arena on Tuesday, winning 95-73.

The win was the first over a ranked opponent for the Cats this season, and marked the first loss of the year for the Hurricanes.

The Wildcats entered the game on the back of a three-game winning streak, with the most recent 118-82 win over Marshall marking the most points scored in a regulation game under John Calipari in Kentucky history.

The matchup against Miami would be no easy feat though, with the Hurricanes fresh off a 2023 Final Four run with many returners. The Canes also marked the second ranked opponent Kentucky would face all season after it lost to then No. 1 Kansas in the State Farm Champions Classic.

The Wildcats took the court with a familiar starting lineup of Justin Edwards, Adou Thiero, Antonio Reeves, D.J. Wagner and Tre Mitchell.

While Miami couldn’t miss early — only a block by Wagner stopped the Canes from making all six of their first six shots –, the Cats continued to push forward, relying on each other and playing team-oriented basketball.

The efforts paid off early, when the Cats found themselves ahead by double digits and forced Miami head coach Jim Larrañaga to call a timeout with under nine minutes played in the first half.

The double digit lead would be short-lived however when costly turnovers allowed the Hurricanes to get back within two before Calipari called a timeout.

This would only be further validated when a streak of hot shooting by the Canes propelled the visitors to lead by six points.

Kentucky would continue battling but would hit a hurdle late in the first half when Wagner seemed shaken up after being fouled on a drive.

Wagner would limp to the free throw line before checking out of the game and leaving the floor entirely.

Despite Wagner’s absence, the Cats would erupt for an 8-0 run to end the half to take a five-point lead into the break much to the joy of fans in attendance.

The hot streak continued at the start of the second half, with UK out-pacing the Canes 15-6 to extend the lead up to 14 points.

The Wildcats didn’t let up there, either, pushing the lead up to 26 points with under 12 minutes to go when the score stook at 73-47.

The Canes wouldn’t be helped any when returning presence Norchad Omier fouled out of the game with over seven minutes left to play.

Surprisingly, things would get even worse for Miami.

Despite its best efforts, Miami was unable to even make the game respectable, with UK coasting to a statement win over a top 10 opponent.

Kentucky will return to action on Dec. 2 when it hosts UNC Wilmington inside Rupp Arena. Tip-off against the Seahawks is scheduled for 4 p.m. ET and will air live on the SEC Network.

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Cole Parke, Sports Editor

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