Kentucky-Central Michigan lives down to expectations as Cats roll in Rupp Arena

Jerry Tipton, Lexington Herald-Leader on

Published in Basketball

LEXINGTON, Ky. — For those who prefer competitive games and basketball drama, Kentucky-Central Michigan lived down to expectations.

Even by the modest standard set by Kentucky’s home schedule so far this season (average margin of victory 28.8 points), Central Michigan paled by comparison. Going into this week, the average Ken Pomeroy rating for opponents in UK’s current span of seven straight home games was 269. Incidentally, that’s where Pomeroy ranked the New Jersey Institute of Technology.

Pomeroy ranked Central Michigan at No. 315, which was the worst rating of the seven opponents in this “tune-up” portion of the schedule.

UK’s 85-57 victory at Rupp Arena validated Pomeroy’s number crunching.

Oscar Tshiebwe led UK with 20 points and 16 rebounds. TyTy Washington added 15 points.

Kentucky did its own crunching from the start. UK made its first six shots and led 13-5 less than four minutes into the game.


The sharp-shooting included three-pointers by Keion Brooks and Sahvir Wheeler, two players that came into the game having combined to make five of 21 shots from beyond the arc this season.

Wheeler’s early three-pointer put UK ahead 16-5 moments before the first television timeout at the 14:56 mark.

Twenty-four seconds later, Central Michigan called time. In that span, Tshiebwe dunked a Wheeler lob, then Wheeler converted a steal into a fast-break layup to make Kentucky’s lead 20-5.

The timeout did not have an impact. Central Michigan made only five of its first 21 shots en route to a 33.3-percent shooting half (10 of 30).


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