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Former Illinois State player leads No. 8 Kentucky’s rout

former-illinois-state-player-leads-no.-8-kentucky's-rout

Antonio Reeves scored a game-high 27 points in his first game against his former team Friday night as No. 8 Kentucky cruised past Illinois State 96-70 in Lexington, Ky.

Reeves, who led the Missouri Valley Conference in scoring two years ago while playing for the Redbirds, transferred after the school fired coach Dan Muller. Reeves was an efficient 10 of 15 from the field, including 4 of 8 on 3-pointers.

Rob Dillingham added 16 points and seven assists for the Wildcats (10-2), who converted 57.1 percent of their field goal attempts and sank 11 of 25 from distance. D.J. Wagner contributed 14 points and Reed Sheppard came off the bench to collect 11 points and five assists.

Myles Foster scored 20 points and grabbed 15 rebounds for Illinois State (8-5), while Darius Burford and Malachi Poindexter each added 13 points. But the Redbirds couldn’t make shots after a hot early start, finishing the night at 32.9 percent from the field and 8 of 35 from the 3-point arc.

Kentucky led by at least 12 points throughout the second half and owned at least a 20-point advantage for most of the final 14 minutes.

Illinois State actually got off to a fast start, leading 13-9 just over four minutes into the game as Dalton Banks swished a 3-pointer. But the Redbirds managed just four points over the next 6:48 and the Wildcats took control, opening up a 24-16 lead at the 9:23 mark when Dillingham fed Justin Edwards for a dunk.

Reeves pushed the lead to double figures with a three-point play and a 3-pointer on consecutive possessions, making it 32-21 with 5:45 remaining. Wagner checked in with a layup and a 3-pointer that upped the margin to 40-25 with 3:17 lefyt.

Dillingham capped the half by making a 3-pointer 29 seconds before the horn, allowing Kentucky to take a 45-30 advantage into the locker room.

The Wildcats made 19 of 32 shots in the half and committed only one turnover. They had six turnovers for the game.

–Field Level Media

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