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Kentucky Basketball sniffs and trolls the Louisville Cardinals: Final score, recap and more

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the Kentucky Wildcats broke it Louisville Cardinals Saturday afternoon at Lexington by a score of 86-63.

The Cats came out ready to play as they took a 12-2 lead and didn’t let the Cards grab a rebound until five minutes into the game. However, scoring droughts and silly mistakes kept the Cardinals back in the game. Despite the inconsistency, Kentucky rallied to take a 45-30 halftime lead. It was the most points scored in the first half by a Kentucky team led by Calipari against Louisville as the Cats shot 64%.

After the break, Kentucky came out flat allowing Louisville to open with a 7-0 run to cut the lead to 45-37. It didn’t last long, however, as the Cats were just too much for the Cards.

Next, the Cats will resume SEC play as they face the LSU Tigers Tuesday night in Lexington.

Oh, and in case you forgot, Kenny Payne, actually, did not win these games.

Toppin comes to life

Jacob Toppin has 11 points and been unplayable the past four games, but he came out aggressive and ready to play in this one. The message has clearly been received.

Toppin attacked the basket, thrived in the midrange and crushed the boards. It was Toppin’s best look since the Bahamas and the outing Kentucky needs to get things back on track this season. The Cats have had a black hole four all season, but Toppin certainly seemed to be a game-changer in this one.

You have to consider the competition because it’s the second worst team the Cats have played this season, but it’s still a positive development regardless of the competition. He absolutely dominated today scoring a career high.

Let’s just hope it continues like this.

Tshiebwe continues to post big numbers, but doesn’t quite look the same

Oscar Tshiebwe is the last player I want to complain about, but we’re all fooling ourselves if we can’t see that he just doesn’t look like himself, despite the big numbers.

I was hesitant to write anything negative about him after he had 23 points and 19 rebounds against the Missouri Tigersbut he was horrible defensively and turned the ball around too much.

It was a bit the same in this match. Oscar dominated the boards and scored at will in the paint, but he just couldn’t defend in space and on the perimeter, especially in the pick-and-roll. They have to clean this up. Besides, he just couldn’t hold the ball. He had several very bad turnovers, several of which came in transition as he tried to dribble the ball downfield.

Like I said, it’s hard to complain about his numbers, but the discrepancies have been much more detrimental this season. That being said, his play in the second half of this game was a classic Oscar.

Free throws and turnovers continue to be a problem

Kentucky managed to win easily in this one because the Cards are just a really bad basketball team, but the issues still haven’t been fixed. Kentucky struggled with free throws throughout the season and turnovers became more apparent.

As mentioned above, Tshiebwe struggled with turnovers and Sahvir Wheeler played extremely poorly. Because as well as Kentucky played, two starters who played the majority of the game struggled to hold onto the ball.

Also, the free throw shooting was lousy. The Cats would have won that game by 30 if they had made their free throws. Again Oscar continues to shoot poorly from the line. After shooting 71% from the line for the first half of the season, he’s shot less than 60% in the last six games.

Cason Wallace played well and did so many good things, but the free throw is an enigma. He’s shooting nearly 50 percent from the bottom of the season, but he’s nearly 50 percent from the season line.

These are fixable issues and must be corrected for cats to have long-term success. Every player should shoot hundreds of free throws every day.

Bouncing dominance

The interesting thing about Louisville is that their disappointing season was attributed to lack of guard play. They have a lot of bigs who are solid, but they don’t have a point guard and their guard game outside of El Ellis is non-existent. However, with all their big guys, you’d think they’d be able to hit the glass.

That certainly wasn’t the case in this one. As mentioned above, the Cats held the cards without a single rebound for the first five minutes of the game, and they dominated the glass throughout the game.

Sure, Tshiebwe broke the glass as always, but Toppin did well, and as a group, Kentucky did very well. Physicality is something this team lacks, but they showed a lot of it in this one.

Now, let’s celebrate a victory before the new year!

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