LEXINGTON, Kentucky — Oscar Tshiebwe says he doesn’t like looking at the scoreboard during a game.
That’s why the senior forward was clapping at halftime Saturday in Tennessee. Someone on Kentucky’s men’s basketball team had to tell him the Wildcats were losing by eight points. .
So what was the unanimously unanimous Player of the Year doing when he got a glimpse of the stats line at the end of Kentucky Basketball’s 83-71 win over Georgia on Tuesday night? ?
“Sometimes I can’t believe what I’m doing,” said Tshiebwe. “37 (points) and 24 (rebounds), that’s insane.”
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A week after South Carolina overturned Britain’s 28-game home winning streak, Tshiebwe’s career scoring night saw the Wildcats (12-6, 3-2) against the upstart Bulldogs (13-5, 3-2). 3 seconds) ignited a comeback in the second half. According to ESPN, his 24 rebounds were the most by any Division I player who scored 35 points in 25 years.
“Oscar was playing video games,” said Kentucky head coach John Calipari.
After the Wildcats’ defeat of world No. 5 Volunteers on their home court on Saturday proved not to be the panacea for a season of ups and downs, Great Britain sent Tshiebwe to boost the team in a disastrous first half. was desperately needed.
Kentucky trailed Georgia in the opening 8:56 before a Jacob Toppin dunk took a 14-13 lead. The Wildcats settled in a contested midrange jumper and made 2-for-7 from his range for 3 points before he shot 33.3% from the field during the opening his period.
UGA, who entered the SEC 12th place (42.2% field goal percentage), shot 55.6% in the first 20 minutes. Of the 42 points in the first half, 20 were due to paint.
How bad was it? Georgia guard Terry Roberts blew kisses to his arena crowd on the lap after playing Transition 3 before the break at 3 minutes and 39 seconds.
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“This game was scary to die for,” said Calipari. “They can beat you in seven different ways. (White) has done a great job with this team.”
But as the second half began, Tshiebwe slammed his foot into the gas. He scored nine points with 2:49 to start the period and Britain surged to a 46–45 lead.
Georgia came close to Roberts’ team-high 21 points, but the Wildcats increased their defensive pressure and found their rhythm aggressively. Teammates said it helped them loosen up after an ice-cold first period.
“It gave us a lot of energy. He got -1 and made the free throw,” said the freshman, who finished second on the team with 17 points on 7-of-11 shooting. Guard Kayson Wallace said. “We got into a bunch of like, ‘Throw it on (Tshiebwe).'” Everyone was on the same page and it happened for him. “
Meanwhile, the Bulldogs shot just 36% in the second half and rebounded 44-31.
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After Tuesday night’s career performance, Tzibwe spoke about how knee surgery he underwent before the season affected both the physical and mental aspects of his game. He said he did the recovery process “slowly, slowly, slowly, slowly” because he didn’t want to aggravate his joint again.
“I wasn’t jumping,” he said. ‘We didn’t play really well’
Calipari said he realized this season that Tziebwe would not live in the gym like he did in the historic 2021-22 season. In the past two weeks, Calipari said, with big man and freshman guard Adu Tierro putting extra time into their craft, Calipari said.
“You know what I said to him? ‘Dunk every ball,'” Calipari said Tuesday night. “‘Stop throwing the ball. Jump up.’ But he had to go to the gym. Now you see what he was like a year ago.” Was he like that two weeks ago? No.”
The injured Tsiebwe said he was playing free. Fans got a glimpse of what it looked like on Tuesday night when the big man jumped into the air, threw a pass from Roberts, chased the ball on the run and finished the play with a fast layup on the other side of the court. rice field. .
“I feel great,” Zibwe said when asked how much he’s changed since last week’s loss to South Carolina. “Right now we are filled with a lot of positive things. Now we know what we can do.”
Kentucky’s next game is Saturday at 2:00 pm when Texas A&M (12-5, 4-0) visits Rupp Arena.
Recruit and Trending sports reporter Brooks Holton (email@example.com) and follow him on Twitter (@brooksHolton).