Second Half Surge Leads Kentucky Past Georgetown College

October 29, 2023

Leading by a single point at the half of Friday’s exhibition game against Georgetown College, Kentucky needed a spark.

Enter sophomore Adou Thiero. The Leetsdale, Pennsylvania, native scored Kentucky’s first five points of the second half, then assisted on an Antonio Reeves three as the Cats took control and went on to win 92-69 in front of 18,454 fans at Rupp Arena.

The eight consecutive points were part of a 13-2 run that allowed UK to build a double-digit lead that the Cats largely maintained for the rest of the contest.

Kentucky head coach John Calipari liked his team’s effort in the second half.

“Second half, I was more pleased,” Calipari said. “:I thought we became the aggressor. Antonio made open shots, Robert was good. All the guys were good.”

Tre Mitchell led the Cats with 22 points and nine rebounds. Mitchell scored 17 of his points after halftime.

Reeves had 18 points for the Cats while freshman guard Rob Dillingham had 16 points and five assists. Thiero finished with 10 points, five rebounds, four assists and four steals.

Anyone who thought Friday’s exhibition game against Georgetown would be an easy one for Kentucky quickly found out otherwise. The Tigers, a three-time NAIA national championship program, had a lead early in the half, then closed the first 20 minutes on a 7-0 run to get within a point, 35-34, at the break. Georgetown actually had free throws just before the half that could have given them the lead at the break.

Kentucky had trouble shooting in the first half, making 15 of 37 (40.5 percent) from the floor. Reeves led UK with eight first half points while Reed Sheppard had seven.

However, the Cats were able to make 21 of 37 (56.8 percent) of their shots in the second half, including six of 13 (46.2 percent) from behind the arc.

Calipari knows that exhibition games are just that – exhibitions. He hopes that the Cats can learn more about themselves after viewing the game tape.

“We need stuff like this so I can watch the tape and figure out where we go from here.”

Georgetown’s Cam Brooks-Harris led all scorers with 21 points.

Kentucky plays its final exhibition game of the season on Thursday night, hosting Kentucky State at Rupp Arena. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. ET and the game can be seen on SEC Network Plus. UK opens the regular season on Nov. 6, hosting New Mexico State.