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Tshiebwe’s 37 points, 24 rebounds lead way in Kentucky’s win

NCAA Basketball: Louisiana State at Kentucky

Jan 3, 2023; Lexington, Kentucky, USA; Kentucky Wildcats forward Oscar Tshiebwe (34) celebrates during the second half against the LSU Tigers at Rupp Arena at Central Bank Center. Mandatory Credit: Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports

Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Oscar Tshiebwe scored a career-high 37 points and grabbed a season-high 24 rebounds in a dominating performance that sent Kentucky to an 85-71 win over Georgia on Tuesday night.

Tshiebwe had 23 points with 15 rebounds in the second half and the Wildcats (12-6, 3-3 SEC) rallied from an eight-point deficit to follow up their win over then-No. 5 Tennessee on Saturday with a victory over the Bulldogs (13-5, 3-2), who came in having won six of their last seven.

Cason Wallace added 17 points, Antonio Reeves had 11 and Jacob Toppin finished with 11 points and 11 rebounds.

Terry Roberts scored 21 points and Kario Oquendo 18 for Georgia.

Tshiebwe scored Kentucky’s first eight points of the second half before CJ Fredrick hit a 3-pointer to give the Wildcats their first lead since a brief edge with 11 minutes left in the first half. Kentucky took the lead for good midway through the second half, but it didn’t reach double figures until Tshiebwe had a dunk and two free throws for a 12-point edge with two minutes to go.

Tshiebwe finished 12-of-20 shooting and 13 of 18 from the line with his rebounds roughly even on both the offensive and defensive boards. In posting his 11th double-double this season, he was the chief reason the Wildcats outscored the Bulldogs 18-2 in second-chance points and were plus-13 on the boards.

After shooting just 33% in the first half in trailing 42-34, the Wildcats hit over 54% in the second half and scored 51 points. It was the opposite situation for Georgia, which shot 56% in the first half and just 36% in the second.

Georgia is host to Vanderbilt and Kentucky is home against Texas A&M in Saturday games.