Reeves Leads No. 6 Kentucky Past Arkansas on Saturday
Antonio Reeves really enjoys playing in Arkansas’ Bud Walton Arena. Reeves proved that fact again on Saturday night by scoring 24 points as No. 6 Kentucky topped Arkansas 63-57.
Last season, Reeves scored 37 points in the same building as the Cats beat the Hogs. On Saturday, Reeves overcame early struggles (he made just one of his first five shots) to make nine of 20 from the floor, including 4 of 8 from behind the arc, on his way to those 24 points. It was the 10th time this season that Reeves has scored at least 20 points in a game.
Kentucky (15-4, 5-2 Southeastern Conference) got 14 points, all in the second half, from freshman Reed Sheppard. The freshman from London, Kentucky, added five assists, four rebounds, four steals and a blocked shot. Tre Mitchell had a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds.
The Cats were able to score 12 points off of 13 Arkansas turnovers, which was one of the big differences in the game. The Hogs scored just five points off of UK’s nine turnovers.
Kentucky missed its first five shots of the game, but Arkansas only led 3-0 early. The Cats got on the board with a Mitchell three, tying the game. Arkansas would score the next six points before UK got a free throw from Reeves to make it 9-4 with 13:09 to play in the first half.
The Cats would make only one of their first 17 shots and the Hogs took a 14-4 lead before Reeves got a shot to go, cutting the deficit to 14-6.
Kentucky would go 3-21 from the floor before getting consecutive baskets from Reeves and D.J. Wagner to cut the deficit to 18-12 with 6:27 left in the half.
The Cats would trail 20-12 before going on an 8-1 run to get within one, 21-20. After an Arkansas basket, UK got within one again on an Ugonna Onyenso tip-in. However, Arkansas would lead 26-24 at the half. The 24 points marked the fewest points in a half for Kentucky so far this season.
Arkansas scored the first two points of the second half before Reeves got a basket and free throw to cut the deficit to one, 28-27. Kentucky would tie the game at 28-28 on an Adou Thiero free throw with 17:29 remaining. Arkansas would get a three from Khalif Battle but the Cats answered with a three from Sheppard to tie the game at 31-31.
The Razorbacks would answer with six consecutive points to lead 37-31. UK then got a three from Reeves and a layup from Sheppard to cut it to one, 37-36. Then, Sheppard stole a pass and raced down the floor for a two-hand slam to give Kentucky its first lead of the game, 38-37, with 12:54 to play.
The lead lasted just 15 seconds as Arkansas scored on its next possession to lead 39-38. The lead would change hands on the next three possessions, capped by a Sheppard layup that gave the Cats a 42-41 lead. UK would extend the lead to 44-41 on a Reeves steal and dunk with 8:32 to play.
Arkansas cut the UK lead to 44-43 before Mitchell drilled a three from the top of the key to give the Cats a 47-43 advantage with 7:24 to play. Arkansas got within one on a Battle three but Reeves drilled a three from the left wing to give the Cats a 50-46 advantage with 5:22 remaining.
After a pair of Arkansas free throws, Mitchell hit a left corner three to give UK a 53-48 lead. Arkansas would score the next four to get within a point before Reeves made another three, extending the lead to 56-52 with 2:40 to go. Kentucky extended the lead to 58-52 when Onyenso stole the ball, got it to Sheppard who threw it downcourt to Wagner for a layup. And when Sheppard hit a three one possession later, the Cats led by nine, 61-52, with 1:27 to play. From there, the Cats held on for the victory.
Kentucky returns to action on Wednesday night, hosting Florida at Rupp Arena. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. ET and the game can be seen on ESPN.