Kentucky rushed out of the gate with incredible accuracy and quickly put away Central Michigan Monday night in Rupp Arena, beating the Chippewas 85-57 for the Wildcats’ sixth straight win. UK rode a pair of 16-0 runs to the big early advantage. UK ruined the return of former John Calipari assistant Tony Barbee, now the head coach at CMU.

The Cats nailed 11 of their first 12 shots, rushing off to a lead that ballooned at times to 31 points. Kentucky led 51-34 lead at halftime and never felt a challenge from CMU in the second half.

Oscar Tshiebwe posted his nation-leading 6th double-double in the win over CMU (Photos UK Athletics)

Oscar Tshiebwe turned in his sixth double-double of the young season (tops in the NCAA) with 20 points and a national-best 16 rebounds; TyTy Washington chipped in with 15 points and six boards.

The Cats committed just six turnovers while scoring 23 points off 15 Chippewas mistakes.

Team Notes

  • Kentucky held Central Michigan to 57 points. The Wildcats are 194-9 (95.6%) under Calipari when limiting the opponent to 63 points or less.
  • UK led by as many as 34 points. The Wildcats are 292-12 (96.1%) under Calipari when leading by at least 10 points at any time during the contest.
  • The Wildcats, who entered the contest No. 1 in the nation in rebounding margin, continued their rebounding dominance Monday with a plus-17 margin. UK has outrebounded all seven opponents this season and has a plus-19.4 average margin for the season.
    • The rebounding led to an 18-6 advantage on second-chance points.
  • The Wildcats outscored the Chippewas 20-4 on fastbreak points.
    • UK has outscored its last three opponents by a combined 61-7 on fastbreak points.
  • UK led the turnover count 15-6 and also dominated Central Michigan in the points-off-turnovers category, winning that battle 23-7.

Player Notes 

  • Oscar Tshiebwethe country’s leading rebounder, posted his sixth double-double of the season with 20 points and 16 rebounds.
    • It was his seventh straight game in double-figure rebounding to start the season.
    • It was his second game this season with at least 20 points and at least 15 rebounds
    • He is the first player to grab 10 or more rebounds in seven straight games since Julius Randle posted a 10-game streak in February and March of 2014.
    • He is tied for the national lead in double-doubles with six.
  • TyTy Washington Jr reached double-figure scoring for the sixth straight game with 15 points.
    • He was 6 of 11 from the floor and is shooting better than 50% over the last six games.
    • He also made 3 of 5 from long distance and has made multiple 3-pointers in four of the last five games.
  • Sahvir Wheelerwho entered the game first in the country with 9.2 assists per game, led all players Monday night with six.
  • Davion Mintz did not play due to illness for the third straight game.

In the First Half

  • Kentucky started Sahvir WheelerTyTy Washington Jr.Kellan GradyKeion Brooks Jr. and Oscar Tshiebwe for the sixth time this season. UK is now 5-1 with that starting lineup.
  • UK raced to a 16-5 lead by the first media timeout (14:56) by hitting seven of their first eight shots, including two 3-pointers.
  • The Wildcats extended their lead to 25-5 out of the gate with a 16-0 run overall over 3:24 of game time.
    • Wheeler dazzled over the 25-5 start with seven points and four assists while Tshiebwe added six points and five rebounds.
  • The Wildcats scored on 11 of their first 13 possessions, missing just one of their first 11 shots with one turnover.
  • Daimion Collins was the first sub for Kentucky at 14:55.
  • Tshiebwe scored seven straight points in a 16-0 run midway through the half to increase its lead to a commanding 43-12 with 7:03 left in the first half.
  • UK led 51-25 at halftime.
    • Kentucky’s 51 points were its most in a first half since scoring 51 vs. Winthrop on Nov. 21, 2018, a game UK won 87-74.
    • The 26-point halftime margin was Kentucky’s largest since Jan. 29, 2019, when UK led Vanderbilt 45-15 en route to a 87-52 win.
  • UK scored 1.457 points per possession in the first half.
  • The Wildcats shot 52.6% in the first half.
  • Tshiebwe nearly had a double-double at halftime with 13 points and eight rebounds.
  • Washington reached double-figure scoring with 10 points to go along with four boards.

In the Second Half

  • Kentucky started the second half with the same starting five: Wheeler, Washington, Grady, Bryce Hopkins and Tshiebwe.
  • The Wildcats stretched their lead to 65-31 with a 10-3 run early in the second half, the Wildcats’ largest lead of the game.
  • Central Michigan would never get any closer than 26 points.

Next up: Southern U, coached by ex-Wildcat Sean Woods, on Tuesday, Dec. 7 in Rupp Arena.


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