Oscar Tshiebwe breaks Shaquille O’Neal’s Rupp Rebounding Record plus Boxscore and Other Game Notes

 

Go here for boxscore.

 

UK MEN’S BASKETBALL POSTGAME NOTES
WESTERN KENTUCKY at KENTUCKY
RUPP ARENA | LEXINGTON, KY.
DEC. 22, 2021
ATTENDANCE: 20,221

Final Score: No. 20/18 Kentucky 95, Western Kentucky 60

Team Records, Series Notes, Etc.

  • Kentucky improved to 9-2 this season with the win over Western Kentucky. The Hilltoppers fell to 8-5 on the season.
  • In the first meeting since the first round of the 2012 NCAA Tournament – which culminated in the Wildcats’ eighth national championship – UK increased its series lead vs. WKU to 5-2. UK has now won two in a row vs. the Hilltoppers.
    • UK is now 2-1 vs. Western Kentucky in games played in Lexington, Kentucky. WKU won the previous meeting in Rupp Arena, 64-52, in the 2001-02 season opener.
    • The 35-point margin of victory was the most for either team in the history of the series. The previous high margin was 24 points in WKU’s 107-83 win in the 1971 NCAA Tournament.
  • The Wildcats are now 8-0 at this season and have a nine-game home winning streak dating back to last season.
  • The game was scheduled on Monday after UK’s previously scheduled Wednesday opponent, Louisville, had to postpone due to positive COVID-19 results within the UofL program.
    • Uniting with Western Kentucky University, UK announced during the game that $100,000 of the proceeds from the game would go towards the “Kentucky United” relief funds to provide immediate relief for the victims of the devastating tornadoes in Western Kentucky on Dec. 10 and 11.
      • Combining the partial proceeds from the game with the “Kentucky United for Tornado Relief” telethon last week, UK Athletics has now raised $4,622,057 for immediate aid in Western Kentucky. For those who would like to join the Kentucky United relief efforts, the online portal at org/donate/cm/wlextv-pub.html/ will remain open through the end of December. Checks can also be mailed to American Red Cross, Attn: Kentucky Tornadoes, 1450 Newtown Pike Lexington, KY 40511.
    • A season-high 20,221 fans were announced at Rupp Arena.
    • Next up: After a four-day break for the holidays, Kentucky will return to Lexington on Sunday evening to begin preparation for conference play. The Wildcats, winners of 49 Southeastern Conference regular-season championships and six under Calipari, will host next Wednesday at 7 p.m. in Rupp Arena. That game will be televised by SEC Network.

Team Notes

  • Kentucky limited Western Kentucky to 60 points. UK is 195-9 under Calipari when holding the opponent to 63 points or fewer, including 7-0 this season.
  • The Wildcats led by as many as 35 points. UK is 295-12 in the John Calipari era when leading by at least 10 points at any time in the contest.
  • Kentucky scored 95 points in consecutive games for the first time since Dec. 29, 2016, and Jan. 3 and 7, 2017, when the Wildcats scored at least 95 against Ole Miss, and Arkansas, respectively.
    • UK has scored 58 points in the second half in consecutive games, also doing so Saturday vs. North Carolina.
  • The Wildcats made 38 of 68 shots (55.9%), the fifth time this season they have shot 50% or better and the second consecutive game.
    • They are 5-0 this season when making 50% or better from the floor and 9-0 when outshooting their opponent.
  • With Kellan Grady making 6 of 9 from long range, UK was 9 of 20 from 3.
    • Nine treys are the second most this season for the Wildcats (12 vs. Robert Morris).
    • UK is 17 of 35 from 3 over the last two games after shooting 2 for 19 at Notre Dame.
  • Of Kentucky’s 38 field goals, 27 were assisted.
    • It was the Wildcats’ second straight game with at least 20 assists and the fourth overall.
    • The 27 assists are the fifth most in the Calipari era and most since recording 33 vs. Arizona State on Nov. 28, 2016.
  • Led by Oscar Tshiebwe’s 28 rebounds, UK outrebounded WKU 50-27. The nation’s No. 1 rebounding margin team has outrebounded their opponent by at least plus-14 in all nine wins this season.
  • With Grady and Jr. each reaching the 20-point barrier, there has been a different player to reach the 20-point mark over the last three games (Washington and Grady tonight, Wheeler vs. North Carolina and Tshiebwe at North Carolina).

Player Notes  

  • Oscar Tshiebwe set a record with 28 rebounds, breaking the previous mark of 21 set by Shaquille O’Neal (Feb. 15, 1990).
    • It tied for the sixth-most rebounds in UK history and the most in more than 45 years, when Mike Phillips corralled 28 caroms in an overtime game vs. Tennessee on Jan. 10, 1976.
    • It is the most for a Wildcat in a regulation-length game in more than 52 years, when Dan Issel grabbed 29 rebounds vs. on February 22, 1969.
    • According to STATS, his 28 rebounds are the most in Division I college basketball since Kendall Gray from Delaware State recorded 30 at Coppin State on March 5, 2015.
      • It is tied for the fourth-most rebounds in Division I college basketball dating back to the 1996-97 season.
    • It was his third 20-rebound game of the season.
    • Of Tshiebwe’s 28 rebounds, 23 were on the defensive end.
    • Adding 14 points, Tshiebwe notched his ninth double-double of 2021-22 and is one behind the national lead.
    • The nation’s leading rebounder has grabbed double-figure boards in all but one game this season.
  • Kellan Grady enjoyed his best game as a Wildcat with a season-high 23 points on 7-of-10 shooting.
    • He made of 6 of 9 on 3-pointers and has made 11 of 16 from long range over the last two games.
      • The six treys was a season high.
    • It was his 100th career double-figure scoring game.
    • It was also Grady’s 45th career game with 20 or more points.
  • After two games below double-figure scoring, Jr. scored a season-best 20 points for the third time this season.
    • He shot 9 of 13 from the field and also distributed a season-high six assists.
  • Playing a season-high 24 minutes, Jacob Toppin played his best game of the season with a season-high 12 points to go along with three rebounds and a career-high six assists.  
  • Sahvir Wheeler, who continues to lead the nation in assists (7.7 per game entering Wednesday), dished out another eight vs. Western Kentucky.
    • It was his ninth game this season with at least six assists.

Coach Calipari

  • John Calipari is now 348-95 at UK.
  • Calipari now has a 793-235 all-time on-court record. 
  • UK improved to 284-56 under Calipari in games vs. unranked Associated Press competition.
  • Calipari moved to 3-0 in all-time meetings vs. Western Kentucky.
  • UK is now 21-3 vs. in-state foes under Calipari.
  • The Wildcats are 196-17 in under Calipari’s watch.

In the First Half

  • Kentucky started Sahvir Wheeler, Jr., Kellan Grady, Keion Brooks Jr. and Oscar Tshiebwe for the 10th time this season and the fifth game in a row. UK is now 9-2 with that starting lineup.
  • Tshiebwe, UK’s leading scorer this season, won the opening tip vs. the 7-foot-5 Jamarion Sharp. After Brooks was blocked on the first possession, Tshiebwe scored the game’s first points on the next possession.
  • Jacob Toppin was the Wildcats’ first sub at the 16:36 mark after Brooks picked up two early fouls.
  • UK had to adjust early in the game to Sharp, the nation’s tallest player and the country’s leading shot blocker. Sharp had three swats in the first four minutes.
  • Kentucky staked to an early 22-9 lead after back-to-back 3-pointers from Washington with 10:20 left in the half.
    • The Wildcats used a 7-0 run to increase the score from 13-7 to 20-7.
  • UK stretched its lead in the first half to as much as 35-19 with 4:37 left in the half riding the red-hot Grady, who sunk consecutive 3-pointers to get the lead to 16 points.
  • Western Kentucky answered the 16-point deficit with a 7-0 run and outscored Kentucky 9-2 over the final 3:57 of the half for a 37-28 UK advantage at halftime.
  • Grady played one of his best halves of the season with 12 points on 3-of-4 shooting, all from the 3-point life. He also sank three free throws.
  • Washington scored nine points in the first half on 4-of-5 shooting with three assists.
  • Tshiebwe nearly had a double-double by halftime with eight points and 11 rebounds.
  • Probing Western Kentucky’s zone, Toppin had four assists in the first half, surpassing his career high by halftime.
  • Sharp kept WKU in the game with eight points, seven blocks and six rebounds in the first 20 minutes.

In the Second Half

  • UK opened the second half with the same starting five as the first half: Wheeler, Washington, Grady, Brooks and Tshiebwe.
  • Extending their late first-half run of 9-2, the Hilltoppers scored the first five points of the second half for a 14-2 run overall to cut what was once a 35-19 UK advantage to 37-33.
  • Grady snapped the run with a 3 from the left corner on the next possession to ignite a 15-0 flurry and retake control the game at 52-35.
    • Grady scored 11 of the 15 points.
    • The run was over 3:09 of game time.
    • Another 6-0 burst lengthened the overall run to 21-2. At that point it was 58-35 with 13:22 left in the game.
  • In a span of 6:12 (18:29 to 12:17), UK totaled 25 points by scoring on 11 of 12 possessions.
  • UK largest lead was the final score of 95-60.
  • Kentucky shot 62.2% (23 of 37) in the second half, outscoring the Hilltoppers 58-32.
  • Washington and Grady led the way with 11 points each in the second stanza, while Tshiebwe collected 17 rebounds.