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No. 4 Kentucky rides balanced scoring to rout of S.C State

Nov 17, 2022; Lexington, Kentucky, USA; Kentucky Wildcats guard Sahvir Wheeler (2) looks to pass the ball during the first half against the South Carolina State Bulldogs at Rupp Arena at Central Bank Center. Mandatory Credit: Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports

CJ Fredrick led five Kentucky double-figure scorers with 17 points as the fourth-ranked Wildcats cruised past South Carolina State 106-63 on Thursday night in Lexington, Ky.

Chris Livingston scored 13 points, Cason Wallace and Lance Ware had 12 each and Antonio Reeves added 11 as Kentucky (3-1) bounced back from a double-overtime loss to Michigan State two nights earlier. The Wildcats stretched their home-court winning streak to 22 games.

Twelve of the 14 Kentucky players who got on the court contributed points.

Rakiem Gary had 13 points and Shaman Alston put up 10 for the Bulldogs (0-4), who were playing the fourth of 11 consecutive road games to open the season.

The Wildcats held the visitors to 35.3 percent shooting (24-for-68) for the game and just 33.3 percent for the second half while shooting over 50 percent in each half themselves. Kentucky finished the game 39-for-68 (57.4 percent) and 10 of 24 from 3 point range, thanks to an 8-of-13 second half.

Kentucky produced a dominant rebounding edge, 48-28.

Oscar Tshiebwe, who had 22 points and 18 rebounds in his season debut Tuesday night, managed only six points and seven rebounds while playing just 14 minutes against South Carolina State.

After toying with the Bulldogs in the opening minutes, the Wildcats held their first double-digit lead at 29-19 with 6:51 left in the first half. Kentucky moved on top 45-22 on a layup by Ugonna Onyenso at the 2:11 mark before settling for a 49-30 lead at the halftime break.

The Wildcats were 7 of 17 from the field in the first nine minutes but were 12 of 16 the rest of the half.

Kentucky needed less than five minutes at the start of the second half to increase the gap to 65-35. The margin reached 40 points at 95-55, and the biggest lead was 47 points at 106-59 with 1:01 remaining.

Kentucky next plays at No. 2 Gonzaga on Sunday night. South Carolina State visits North Florida on Saturday.

–Field Level Media