Men's Basketball
No. 12 Kentucky Falls to UNC-Wilmington on Saturday

No. 12 Kentucky Falls to UNC-Wilmington on Saturday

Freshman Reed Sheppard scored 25 points but No. 12 Kentucky lost to UNC-Wilmington 80-73 on Saturday afternoon at Rupp Arena.

Sheppard made 9 of 17 from the field, including 3 of 6 from behind the arc, and 4 of 4 at the free throw line for his 25 points. The London, Kentucky native added nine rebounds , six assists and two steals.

Antonio Reeves had 14 points before fouling out. Justin Edwards and Tre Mitchell each had 11 points and six rebounds for the Cats, who made just five of 17 (29.4 percent) from behind the arc for the game.

UNC-Wilmington made 11 of 31 (35.5 percent) from behind the arc and 28 of 65 (43.1 percent) of its shots overall.

Kentucky head coach John Calipari saw a different UK team on Saturday than he had seen previously this season.

“There are games where you’re not going to make shots,” Calipari said. “You’ve got to rebound and defend. I understand our starting point guard was out. But we didn’t play the same way. We held the ball, everybody’s trying to make a play.”

Specifically, the UK head coach did not like his team’s defensive execution.

“We couldn’t stay in front of the ball,” Calipari said. “We’ve got time in between games and we’ve got to work on the importance of staying in front of your man and making him score through your chest. You keep opening up the hips and they’re shooting layups. We’ve got stuff to learn. You win and you learn. You better guard the ball better.”

However, Calipari did not take anything away from UNC-Wilmington.

“They deserved to win the game. They did,” Calipari said. “I would have liked to have stolen it from them but they deserved to win it. They played well, they shot well.”

Kentucky returns to action on Saturday, visiting Philadelphia to play Penn. Tipoff is set for noon ET and the game can be seen on ESPN2.

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