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Kentucky shoots 57% from the field against Illinois State plus Boxscore and Other Game Notes

Kentucky shot 57.1% from the field, 36 of 63, against Illinois State, making it the sixth time the Wildcats have made at least half their shots in a game.


Go here for boxscore.


DEC. 29, 2023

Final Score: No. 8/10 Kentucky 96, 70

Team Records and Series Notes

  • Kentucky is 10-2 on the season. Illinois State is 8-5.
  • Kentucky leads the series 2-0 and is 31-15 all-time against teams comprising the Missouri Valley Conference.
  • Next for Kentucky: returns to action Saturday, Jan. 6 with its Southeastern Conference opener at Florida. The game will tip at 12:30 p.m. and be televised on ESPN.

Team Notes

  • UK scored 96 points tonight. The Wildcats entered the game fourth in the nation at 90.6 per game.
    • UK has scored at least 80 points in all but one game this season.
  • Kentucky shot 57.1% from the field, 36 of 63. It is the sixth time this season that the Wildcats have made at least half their shots in a game.
  • Kentucky made 11 of 25 3-point shots. The Wildcats entered the game 11th in the nation with 10.5 long balls made per game.
    • UK shot 44% on 3-pointers, entered the contest third nationally at 41.4%.
  • UK dished out 23 assists, entered the game 11th in the country with 19.1 per game.
  • Sparked by 16 points from and 11 from , UK won bench points 36-5.
  • UK also held a 27-6 lead in fast-break points and a 15-4 advantage in points off turnovers.
  • Kentucky blocked nine shots tonight, tying the season high set vs. North Carolina.
  • Kentucky led by as many as 28 points. UK is 338-15 (95.7%) in the Calipari era when leading by at least 10 points at any time in the contest.

Player Notes  

  • scored a game-high 27 points after scoring 30 last time out at Louisville. 
    • Reeves now has six games scoring 20-plus points this season and 37 for his career.
    • He extended his streak of 23 consecutive games with a 3-pointer, longest since Jamal Murray's school-record 36-game streak in the 2015-16 season. 
  • had eight points, 11 boards and four assists.
    • He has had at least four boards in every game this season.
    • He led the team in plus/minus at plus-30.
    • Mitchell has back-to-back games with double-digit rebounds after not accomplishing the feat in the first 10 games of the season.
  • J. Wagner poured in 14 points to go along with three assists.
    • It marked his sixth double-figure scoring game of the season.
  • Reed Sheppard totaled 11 points, five rebounds, five assists, two blocks and two steals.
    • Sheppard has scored in double figures in nine games.
    • He extended his streak of at least two steals in every game this season.
  • Rob Dillingham went for 16 points, seven assists, three boards and a career-high three steals.
    • It marked his 11th double-figure scoring game in 12 contests.


  • Calipari has an 842-255 (76.7%) all-time on-court record, including 397-115 (77.5%) at Kentucky.
  • Calipari is 326-65 (83.3%) at UK against unranked competition.
  • Calipari is 2-0 vs. Illinois State.
  • UK is 119-8 inside Rupp Arena against nonconference foes under Calipari.

In the First Half

  • Kentucky started J. Wagner, Antonio Reeves, , Tre Mitchell and for the third game in a row.  
  • Rob Dillingham and Reed Sheppard were UK's first substitutions with 14:47 remaining.
  • After a 3-point play gave Illinois State the early lead, Kentucky got on the board on a Reeves' runner at the 18:32 mark, marking the first of four consecutive made shots for UK to start the game.
  • With the game tied at 13, Sheppard connected on a 3-pointer from the top of the key at the 12:47 mark. The next time down the court, Reeves put back a missed free throw for a five-point Wildcat lead they would not relinquish.
  • Kentucky extended its lead to as many as 15 twice in the opening half, including a 45-30 advantage heading into the break.
  • UK shot 59.4% (19-for-32) and only turned the ball over once in the opening 20 minutes.
  • Reeves led the Cats with 12 points at the half while Wagner added nine, Sheppard chipped in with eight and Edwards poured in seven.

In the Second Half

  • Kentucky began the second half with the starting lineup.
  • The teams went back and forth to start the half, with UK holding a 55-40 lead with 15:47 remaining, but the Cats went on a 13-5 spurt over the next 3:21 to push their advantage to 68-45 with 12:21 left to play.
  • The Wildcat lead swelled to a game-high 28 at 75-47 after a pair of Dillingham free throws with 10:38 remaining.
  • Illinois State would pull back to within 19 twice the rest of the way but would get no closer

On This Day In UK Basketball History

On February 23, 1970, Dan Issel scored 47 points against Alabama.


On February 23, 2019, with an 80-53 victory over Auburn, 10th-year head coach John Calipari moves past Joe B. Hall for the second most victories by a UK head coach in program history. He trails only the Baron of the Bluegrass, Adolph Rupp.


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