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No. 9 Kentucky dispatches rival Louisville with ease

no.-9-kentucky-dispatches-rival-louisville-with-ease

Antonio Reeves scored 22 of his season-high 30 points in the first half and No. 9 Kentucky took down in-state rival Louisville 95-76 on Thursday to win its third consecutive game away from home.

Tre Mitchell scored 18 points with 12 rebounds and three blocks for Kentucky (9-2), who rebounded from an 80-73 loss to UNC-Wilmington at home Dec. 2 with victories over Penn, then-No. 9 North Carolina and now Louisville.

Justin Edwards had 13 points for the Wildcats, Reed Sheppard scored 11 points with 11 assists and Rob Dillingham delivered 12 points.

Kentucky improved to 39-17 all-time against Louisville and 13-3 since John Calipari became the Wildcats’ head coach. Kentucky won for the fifth time over the last six games against Louisville.

Skyy Clark had 20 points and Brandon Huntley-Hatfield added 16 points with 11 rebounds for Louisville (5-7), who lost for the fourth time in their past five games. It was Huntley-Hatfield’s third consecutive double-double.

Mike James scored 12 points and Tre White added 11 for the Cardinals, whose bench had 15 total points to 30 for Kentucky.

The Wildcats shot 51.5 percent from the field in the victory, while the Cardinals shot 42.4 percent and went 4 of 17 (23.5 percent) from 3-point range.

It was a back-and-forth affair over the opening nine minutes with Louisville holding a 17-16 lead with 11:13 remaining before halftime. The Wildcats went on a 15-1 run from there in a mere 2:29 to take a 31-18 lead. Kentucky led 53-33 at the break following a 3-pointer from Reeves.

Reeves went 9 of 10 from the floor in the first half and 4 of 4 from 3-point range. It was the fourth time this season Kentucky had at least 50 points in a half and the first time at Louisville since 1996.

The Wildcats kept up the pressure to start the second half, opening with a 7-1 run for a 60-34 advantage with 17:36 remaining and cruised to the victory from there.

Kentucky will face Illinois State at home Dec. 29 before opening SEC play Jan. 6 at Florida. Louisville is off until Jan. 3 when it will return to ACC play at Virginia.

–Field Level Media

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