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Game Notes: Kentucky 60, Bellarmine 41

Below are game notes from the No. 19 Wildcats' 60-41 victory over the Bellarmine Knights on Tuesday night inside Rupp Arena: 

Team Records and Series Notes

 Kentucky is now 5-2 on the season, Bellarmine is 2-6.

 This was the first meeting between the teams.

 Next for UK: on Wednesday, the Wildcats fly to London, England in anticipation of Sunday’s Hall of Fame Game vs. Michigan. Game time is 1 p.m. ET and it will be televised by ABC.

Team Notes

 Kentucky limited Bellarmine to 41 points, fewest for a UK opponent since the 78-39 win over West Virginia in the 2015 NCAA Tournament.

o Bellarmine scored 21 and 20 points in the two halves, which are UK’s two best defensive halves of the season.

o UK is now 85-0 under Calipari when keeping the opponent to 55 points or less. 

o UK is 207-9 (95.8%) under Calipari when keeping the opponent to 63 points or less, including 5-0 this season.

 Kentucky limited Bellarmine to 30.4% from the field. UK is 226-24 (90.4%) under Calipari when keeping the opponent to 40 percent or less shooting, including 5-0 this season.

 Kentucky led by as many as 20 points. UK is 314-13 (96.0%) under Calipari when leading by as many as 10 points at any time in the contest. 

 UK used its size advantage to dominate the rebounding, 42-21, and points in the paint, 28-8.

Player Notes  

 Antonio Reeves had 14 of his 18 points in the second half.

o He has landed in double-figure scoring in six of the seven games this season.   

o He has made at least one 3-pointer in each game this season.

 Jacob Toppin scored all 12 of his points in the second half and had five rebounds.

 CJ Fredrick tossed in 11 points, eight in the second half.

 Oscar Tshiebwe collected eight points and a game-high 12 rebounds, adding three blocked shots and two steals.

 Sahvir Wheeler had six points and a game-high six assists.

Coach John Calipari

 This was Calipari’s first game vs. Bellarmine.

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 During his time at UK, Calipari has a 23-3 record against in-state foes.

 Calipari has an 815-243 all-time on-court record and a 370-103 mark in his 14 th season at UK.

 UK is 303-58 (83.9%) against unranked competition under Calipari. 

Rupp Arena

 UK extended its home win streak to 24 games, dating back to the 2020-21 season, and is the longest active home win streak in the Southeastern Conference and (as this is written) tied for second-longest in the nation.

 Kentucky is 638-77 (89.2%) in the 47-year history of Rupp Arena.

 Kentucky is 211-17 (92.5%) in Rupp Arena under Calipari.

In the First Half

 Kentucky started the combination of Sahvir Wheeler, Cason Wallace, Antonio Reeves, Jacob Toppin and Oscar Tshiebwe for the second straight game.

 CJ Fredrick, Daimion Collins, Lance Ware and Chris Livingston were UK’s first substitutes at the 14:48 mark.

 Both teams started slowly on offense, with a pair of Bellarmine 3-pointers the only baskets of the game’s first four minutes.

 Kentucky got its first score on its seventh possession when Reeves tallied a tip-in at 15:38.

 Kentucky got its first lead, 13-12, on a Wallace free throw with 5:27 on the clock.

 Kentucky’s first 3-pointer of the game, a long ball by Wheeler at the 4:43 mark, shoved the team ahead 16-14, igniting an 8-0 run that gave the Wildcats a 21-14 advantage.

 Bellarmine responded with a 7-0 spurt that knotted the count at 21 at halftime. It is UK’s best defensive half of the season and also the Wildcats’ lowest scoring half of the season.

 Tshiebwe led the Cats with six points and six rebounds.

In the Second Half

 Kentucky opened the second stanza with the starting lineup.

 Trailing 28-26, Bellarmine hit consecutive 3-pointers to go ahead 32-28. 

 Reeves ended a three-minute drought with a 3-pointer from the left corner, Wheeler tied it with a foul shot, Fredrick put UK ahead two free throws, Toppin added two more and Fredrick put the icing on an 11-0 run with a 3-pointer from the right wing, making the score 39-32 for UK.

 Meanwhile, Bellarmine was held scoreless for almost six minutes, from 16:08 to 10:14, before connecting a 3-pointer.

 Kentucky added a 12-0 spurt, for a total run of 23-3, to push the count to 51-35. Bellarmine scored only three points over a 10-minute stretch. 

 UK led by as many as 20 points at 58-38.