No. 16 Kentucky wins for 4th time in 5 games on Reed Sheppard game-winner | Zagsblog
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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Tuesday / April 16.
  • No. 16 Kentucky wins for 4th time in 5 games on Reed Sheppard game-winner

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    Just a couple of weeks ago, Kentucky lost to Gonzaga at Rupp Arena and the sky seemed to be falling in Big Blue Nation.

    But oh how times have changed.

    Freshman Reed Sheppard played hero ball to help No. 16 Kentucky overcome an 8-point halftime deficit and earn a 91-89 win at Mississippi State. It was the largest halftime comeback for the Wildcats this season and it marked Kentucky’s fourth win in five games.

    In their previous victory, the Wildcats hung 117 points on No. 19 Alabama on Saturday.

    On Tuesday, Sheppard couldn’t be stopped, finishing with 32 points, 7 assists, 5 rebounds, and the game-winner with .5 seconds left.

    “It was really cool,” Sheppard said of the moment. “As a little kid I always wanted to play for Kentucky. Being able to hit a game-winning shot for Kentucky was really cool. It was really special for me and to be able to do it with this group of guys that we are all really close with on and off the court was very special.”

    “He plays to win,” head coach John Calipari said of Sheppard. “He’s not playing not to lose.”

    Calipari also commented on his decision to not call a timeout on the last possession.

    “There will be some that [say] why didn’t you call a timeout,” he said. “Because of what just happened. They can’t set up their defense. They had no timeouts. You look at DJ [Wagner] and say make something happen. The ball ends up in Reed’s hands and he goes and makes it. I have always done that; I am not calling a timeout in those situations.”

    Next up for the Wildcats — a projected 4 seed by ESPN’s Joe Lunardi — is Arkansas on Saturday at home.

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