Offensive explosion leads Kentucky past Marshall

Published 9:30 am Monday, November 27, 2023

University of Kentucky Athletics 

Putting points on the board has not been a problem for Kentucky so far this season. But on Friday night against Marshall, the Cats took their scoring prowess to another level.

Kentucky put up 69 points in the first half, the most points ever scored by any team in a half at Rupp Arena history. The 69 points is also the fourth-highest first half total in Kentucky’s basketball history. It was all part of a 118-82 Kentucky win. The 118 points marks the most ever scored by a John Calipari-coached Kentucky team.

D.J. Wagner had 28 points to lead Kentucky in scoring. Antonio Reeves had 23 points for the Cats and Tre Mitchell had 18. Rob Dillingham hit seven of his eight shots on his way to 16 points, while Reed Sheppard had 12 and Justin Edwards added 10. Four of those players (Reeves 15; Mitchell 14; Wagner 13; and Edwards 10) had double figures in points by halftime.

Calipari was impressed with his team’s offense on Friday night.

“We played good. It was based on assists, shots made,” Calipari said. “We’re creating great opportunities for guys who can shoot. If you have a bunch of guys who can shoot like this, you play this way.”

One of the main sparks for the Kentucky offense this season has been a pair of reserve freshman guards. Dillingham and Sheppard may not start for the Cats but they are making things happen.

On Friday night, Dillingham assisted on five of Kentucky’s first 11 field goals and also made his first seven shots in the game on his way to 16 points. Dillingham dished out a career-high eight assists in the game

Sheppard continues to do a little bit of everything for Kentucky. On Friday, the London, Kentucky, native scored 12 points, grabbed seven rebounds, dished out six assists and had two steals.

Kentucky has now scored at least 81 points in each of its first six games. The last time the Cats did that was in the 1970-71 season.

The Cats return to action on Tuesday night, hosting No. 10 Miami inside Rupp Arena. Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m. ET and the game can be seen on ESPN.