This one was over before the second half ever started. It was over with about six minutes left in the first half, if we’re being totally honest.
The Kentucky men’s basketball team rolled over Ole Miss on Saturday night at Rupp Arena, snapping the Rebels’ seven-game win streak and handing them a 83-61 loss to open SEC play.
Tyler Ulis looked as good as he has all season on both ends of the ball, and freshman forward Skal Labissiere showed glimpses of brilliance, playing with a different level of confidence.
The Wildcats have now won four of their last five.
The turning point: Between 11:10 and 6:04 in the first half, the Wildcats went on an 18-3 run to effectively put the game out of reach of the Rebels. Ole Miss trailed just 12-10 at the 11:10 mark, but by the 6:04 mark Kentucky had a commanding 30-13 lead. That laid the foundation for Kentucky’s 24-point halftime lead.
MVP: No surprises here — Ulis. Ulis dished out a career-high 10 assists and picked up a career-high six steals. Not to mention he also put 20 points on the board. The numbers said it all.
Memorable moment: It wasn’t a specific moment per se, but the Wildcats got just what they needed out of Labissiere, making his performance as a whole memorable. The freshman has been up and down all season, with one NBA scout slamming him, suggesting that he might not have what it takes to compete highly at the next level. But John Calipari lauded Labissiere’s scrappy play at the half, and he finished the night with a respectable nine points on 4-for-7 shooting.
Starting lineup: Marcus Lee, Tyler Ulis, Isaiah Briscoe, Alex Poythress, Jamal Murray
Off the bench: Skal Labissiere, Charles Matthews, Isaac Humphries, Dominique Hawkins, Derek Willis
What’s next: No. 10 Kentucky will face Ben Simmons and the Tigers at LSU on Tuesday for a 9 p.m. matchup.