The Kentucky Wildcats got their Feast Week kicked off with a win over the Saint Joseph’s Hawks in Rupp Arena, 96-88.
It was a back-and-forth game for much of the first half. The Cats got out to a slow start once again, forcing John Calipari’s hand to insert Reed Sheppard and Rob Dillingham right around the under-16 media timeout.
From that point on, Kentucky traded punches with the Hawks throughout the half, as the UK offense stayed hot, shooting 54% from the field through the first 20 minutes.
Ultimately, the Cats pushed ahead in the final minute to take a 41-38 lead into the locker room.
The second half was a slugfest. If Kentucky went on a run, St. Joe’s would answer it with a short run to close the gap. Both teams hot shooting nights continued, eventually with the game coming down to the final shot.
After a DJ Wagner missed a layup, the Cats and Hawks headed to overtime.
The OT period was Tre Mitchell’s time to shine. Hitting two 3s to open up the lead for the Cats, he then helped ice the game with two clutch free throws heading into the final minutes of the game.
The Hawks gave Kentucky all they could want in more in tonight’s matchup, including out-rebounding the Cats 42-37. With Aaron Bradshaw and Zvonimir Ivisic seemingly only a few games away from making their debuts, they will surely help bridge that gap when the team faces off against opponents that have quite a bit of size.
This award could have gone to several different players, including DJ Wagner, who had his first big game in a Kentucky uniform, but we have to award this one tonight to Tre Mitchell.
He finished the night with 22 points on 7-15 shooting and 4-10 from deep. He also added six rebounds, four assists, four blocks, and a steal in tonight’s win.
With the seven-footers expected to start playing in the coming weeks, Mitchell moving back to his regular position should do wonders for this team. He stretches the floor well and continues to be one of the better passers on the roster.
We have all said it: Mitchell is the perfect addition to this roster. That showed tonight.
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