SEC college basketball final: Kentucky 117, Alabama 95

After blowing a 15-point lead and losing at the buzzer at LSU, Kentucky returns home Saturday to take on SEC men’s basketball leader Alabama at Rupp Arena.

CBS has the 4 p.m. tipoff with Ian Eagle and Bill Raftery. Or you can listen to Tom Leach and Jack Givens on the UK Sports Network.

Either way, be sure and check in here for updates and observations from yours truly, who will be at the Rupp along with Ben Roberts, Mark Story, Cameron Drummond and Silas Walker. You can follow us on X/Twitter at @BenRobertsHL, @markcstory, @cdrummond97, @sigh_las and @johnclayiv.

You can follow a dedicated Twitter/X Kentucky basketball list by clicking here.

Final: Kentucky 117, Alabama 95

Kentucky improved to 19-8 overall and 9-5 in the SEC. Alabama dropped to 11-3 in the league and 19-8 overall.

Justin Edwards led the Cats with 28 points, Antonio Reeves scored 24 and Zvonimir Ivisic added 18 points as the Wildcats shot 63.1 percent from the floor. That was the second-highest shooting percentage this season behind 63.9 percent against Stonehill.

Edwards was a perfect 10-of-10 from the floor. He was 4-of-4 from 3-point range. His previous collegiate career-high was 17 points at Vanderbilt on Feb. 6.

Alabama was led by Ryan Griffen with 21 points. The Crimson Tide shot 56.7% from the floor.

Final box

Kentucky leads 112-84 with 3:44 left

The Cats are close to breaking the scoring mark for the Calipari Era set earlier this season with the 118-84 victory over Marshall. Justin Edwards has 28 points. Antonio Reeves has 24 points. UK has made 19 of 28 field goals this half for 67.9%. It has made 5 of its 8 3-point attempts and is 12-for-20 shooting from 3-point range for the game.

UK has hit century mark with 7:51 still to go

Kentucky’s lead over Alabama has grown to 104-69 with 7:51 left at Rupp Arena. Zvonimir “Big Z” Ivisic has come off the bench to score a career-high 16 points. He just hit a 3-pointer and followed in his own miss for a dunk. John Calipari’s club is shooting 69.2% for the game.

Kentucky 84-58 with 11:53 left

Cats have outscored Bama 26-16 so far this half. UK has made 10 of 13 shots in the second half. Justin Edwards has 24 points. Antonio Reeves has 22. Consider that Alabama is shooting 54.8% for the game and trails by 26 points at the under-12 media timeout.

Justin Edwards having a coming out party

UK freshman Justin Edwards is up to 22 points as the Wildcats have stretched their lead to 21 points at 75-54 over the Crimson Tide with 15:15 left. Edwards is 8-for-8 from the floor, including 4-for-4 from 3-point range.

Halftime: Kentucky 58, Alabama 42

Kentucky shot 64.5% in the first half to take a 16-point lead into the locker room over Bama. Antonio Reeves lead the Cats with 15 points. Big first half from Justin Edwards with 13 points. Alabama shot 55.2% but couldn’t keep with the Cats. Ryan Griffen leads the Tide with 12 points.

First half box

Kentucky 46-31 with 3:39 left in first half

The Cats are on an 18-2 run for a 15-point lead at the under four-minute media timeout. Antonio Reeves has 15 points for the Cats. UK has made 16 of 24 shots for 66.7%. Points off turnovers: UK 14, Alabama 4.

Kentucky 35-29 with 7:56 left in first half

The Cats are on a 7-0 run. Cats are still hot from the floor, hitting 13 of 20 shots for 65.0. UK has made five of its 10 3-point attempts. Bama is 12-of-18 from the floor for 66.7%. The Tide is a perfect 4-for-4 from 3-point range. Alabama’s Mark Sears, the SEC’s leading scorer, has two fouls.

Kentucky 25-24 with 11:13 left in first half

UK has made 9 of 15 shots and leads Alabama 25-24. UK is 5-for-9 from 3-point land. Reeves leads the way with nine points. Alabama has made 10 of 15 shots, but the Tide trails one. Bama has had several shots it he paint right at the rim.

Tied at 12 at first TV timeout

Kentucky and Alabama are tied 12-12 at first TV timeout. Antonio Reeves has six points for Kentucky. Rylan Griffen has five for Bama. The Tide is 5-for-7 from the floor. Kentucky is 4-for-7.

Kentucky’s Tre Mitchell out again

Kentucky forward Tre Mitchell is out for the third straight game and for the fifth time in the last six games. The 6-foot-9 senior is averaging 12.0 points, 7.5 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game. Mitchell missed the Vanderbilt and Gonzaga games with a back injury. He returned for UK’s game Jan. 13 against Ole Miss but left early in the second half with a shoulder injury. The Cats are 2-2 in games Mitchell has missed.

Alabama’s Latrell Wrightsell is also out. The 6-3 senior is averaging 9.0 points per game. He also missed Alabama’s 98-93 overtime win over Florida on Wednesday.

Alabama forward Mohamed Wague is also out. He is serving a one-game suspension for elbowing a Florida player in the head during the Tide-Gators game on Wednesday.

Kentucky’s Adou Thiero (3) competes against Alabama on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024, in Lexington, Ky.
Kentucky’s Adou Thiero (3) competes against Alabama on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024, in Lexington, Ky.

Officials for Kentucky-Alabama

Officials for Kentucky-Alabama are Don Daily, Byron Jarrett and Chuck Jones.

Daily worked UK’s overtime loss to Florida at Rupp Arena and the Cats’ romp over Vanderbilt in Nashville. Jarrett worked Kentucky’s win over Miami in November, the Missouri game in January, the loss at South Carolina and the Gonzaga game at Rupp. Jones worked UK’s win over Penn in Philadelphia, the Mississippi State game at Rupp and UK’s win at Arkansas.

Pregame info

Kentucky basketball roster

Kentucky basketball statistics

Alabama basketball roster

Alabama basketball statistics

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