LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) Antonio Reeves scored 21 points, Tre Mitchell added 18 and No. 16 Kentucky beat Texas A&M Commerce 81-61 on Friday night.

Justin Edwards scored 16 points for the short-handed Wildcats (2-0), while Rob Dillingham had 12 and D.J. Wagner 11. Reeves made five of Kentucky’s eight 3-pointers, hitting three in a row to end the first half.

“He is at ease with who he is as a player,” Kentucky coach John Calipari said about Reeves. “He has no anxiety about who he is as a player. The players are really this group is treating him like a vet and a player that’s really needed. They’re finding him for shots and he’s making them.”

Reeves a senior returnee, agreed with his coach.

“I’m more comfortable out there,” Reeves said. “I’m experienced and I know what to do (on the floor) in certain situations and things like that. I feel a lot better out there (on the court).”

Calipari lauded his team’s ability to play fast and under control. The Wildcats finished with just three turnovers and had 12 assists.

“Would you say we played pretty fast? he said. “We had three turnovers. Now I’m wondering if we’re not being aggressive enough and I had to leave and the game with three turnovers, but that’s like ridiculous.”

Kalen Williams scored 19 points for Texas A&M Commerce (0-3). Tommie Lewis added 18 and Jerome Brewer had 12.

“We just couldn’t get them out of the pace they wanted to play,” Texas A&M Commerce coach Jarot Von Rosenburg said. “They played under control, and it was the biggest difference (in the game).”

The Wildcats trailed 19-6, then outscored the Lions 32-11 the rest of the half for a 38-30 lead.

Calipari wasn’t surprised by the fast start by Texas A&M Commerce.

“I loved it,” he said. “Now you have to understand, they played two games, and they were they were shooting from the three. Whatever those guys shot, I don’t know, 20%, 21%, whatever. And I said, it doesn’t matter. They’re playing us.”

Kentucky was without Adou Thiero because of concussion protocols. Thiero started and scored five points in the opener against New Mexico State.


Texas A&M Commerce: The Lions were overmatched again after opening losses at Texas A&M and Texas Tech.

Kentucky: The challenge will be much tougher Tuesday night when Kentucky faces top-ranked Kansas in the Champions Classic in Chicago. The two powerhouse programs have split four games in the yearly event.


Texas A&M Commerce: At Purdue Fort Wayne on Sunday

Kentucky: Vs. Kansas in the Champions Classic on Tuesday night at Chicago.


Get poll alerts and updates on AP Top 25 basketball throughout the season. Sign up here. AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-basketball-poll and https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball

Copyright 2024 STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.