No. 22 Kentucky takes down red-hot No. 13 Auburn

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22 hours ago
kentucky athletics

Kentucky has been hearing that all season. The Cats are hearing that their defense and toughness are not up to the level expected.

On Saturday night, Britain faced a difficult task. The Cats faced a red-hot Auburn team that was 13-0 at home, ranked 13th in the country and had won 43 of its past 45 games at home.

No. 22 Kentucky (18-7, 8-4 Southeastern Conference) showed solid defense and toughness in a hostile environment as the Cats defeated Auburn 70-59 on Saturday night. . UK never trailed, holding Auburn to just 30.9 percent from the floor and taking full advantage of Auburn’s 12 turnovers, turning them into 23 points.

Antonio Reeves led the Cats with 22 points, and Adu Tierro added 14 points and eight rebounds. Rob Dillingham had 11 points in the first half, and Ugonna Onyenso had seven points and 11 rebounds.

Kentucky took the lead on Juston Edwards’ dunk, then Auburn tied the score at 2-2. The Cats led 11-2 with nine points, including five from Dillingham.

Auburn (20-6, 9-4) got within six points at 11-5 on a 3 from Chad Baker-Mazara, then Reeves hit two free throws to put UK up to 13. This gave them a 5-on-5 advantage. After Auburn scored four straight points, Kentucky increased the lead to 18-9 on a layup by DJ Wagner and a three by Reaves, forcing Auburn to take a timeout.

UK extended its lead to 19-9 on Onienso’s free throws, but Auburn scored four more points to make it 19-13. But Kentucky fought back with an 8-2 run, the last six of which were made by Teiro, to lead 27-15 with 5:09 left in the first half.

Auburn fought back, scoring the next five points until Reid Shepard’s bank shot gave the Cats a 29-20 lead. Auburn got within five points at 30-25, then Reeves got another 3 from Dillingham and four straight points to extend UK’s lead to 37-25 with 1:11 left in the first half. Great Britain held a 39-29 lead at halftime.

Kentucky scored the first four points of the second half and led 43-29. Auburn responded with a 7-2 run to get back within nine points, 45-36. After Teiro’s dunk, Auburn responded with an 8-2 run to make it 49-44 with 11:53 left.

Britain responded again. Reaves drove to the basket for a layup and Tiello made two free throws to make it 53-44. After Auburn scored by KD Johnson, Reeves made a layup and a three with 8:38 left to extend the lead to 58-46. Wagner’s two free throws made it 60-46.

Auburn didn’t disappear. The Tigers went on a 10-4 run to make it 64-56 with 2:59 left. In the end, Auburn was within seven points, 66-59, but UK scored the final four points to seal the victory.

Kentucky returns to action on Wednesday, traveling to Baton Rouge to take on LSU. Tipoff is set for 9 p.m. ET and the game will be available to watch on ESPN.

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