Despite Rob Dillingham’s Career High Night, Kentucky Fail to Come Out of a Slump

Published 02/04/2024, 1:37 PM EST

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USA Today via Reuters

The City of Lexington was more than excited when the Tennessee Volunteers arrived for their most anticipated track match with the Kentucky Wildcats. With Rob Dillingham and Tre Mitchell on the charts, fans of the Cats expected a dominating victory, but unfortunately, the volunteers kept the Cats at bay by humbling them to a score of 103-92.

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Despite Rob Dillingham’s monstrous performance and 35 points, Kentucky couldn’t make it through the tough battle. Kentucky was unable to bounce back from their sluggish beginning, resulting in their fourth straight defeat in SEC games. The Wildcats’ chances of winning the SEC regular season title have taken a major hit with this defeat, as they now have a 0-2 record after losing to Florida earlier in the week.

Rob Dilligham’s stellar night

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With a career-high of 35 points, including six three-pointers coming off the bench, Rob Dillingham showcased sensational form, making 14 out of 20 shots and 6 out of 8 three-pointers, and played an exceptional game.

Kentucky’s future success will heavily rely on Dillingham’s performance. In his second consecutive start as point guard, Antonio Reeves also played well, contributing 21 points, while Reed Sheppard added 16 to the team’s total. Without his performance, the final score would be very poor for Kentucky, as none of the expected players shoved in for a better performance.

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The defense area of Kentucky was more than out of form. In his second consecutive start as point guard, Antonio Reeves also played well, contributing 21 points, while Reed Sheppard added 16 points to the team’s total. It was an added support. Though Rob Dillingham came off the bench and gave a wonderful performance, it is in the hands of Kentucky as a team to add value to a single player’s effort.

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Tre Mitchell served a severe disappointment

Tre Mitchell had an extremely disappointing game considering his experience as a Forward. Despite his success in collecting five rebounds and making one assist, he was unable to make a single shot from the field, going 0-3.

The Vols dominated the second half, building a commanding lead, while Dillingham and Sheppard made significant contributions to the Cats’ comeback effort, which lasted until the final moments of the game.

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Sadly, the team’s struggles in defense and rebounding made it impossible to overcome the hill. For Kentucky to have a successful game against Vanderbilt and prepare for their matchup with Gonzaga the following Saturday, it is crucial for Mitchell to bounce back and deliver a strong performance.

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Written by:

Nima Murugan

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“Basketball isn’t an act of jumping jacks, it’s a sport mirroring life through assists and rebounds”. Before becoming an NBA writer at EssentiallySports, I was drawn to the world of basketball when 'The Chosen One' first started locking horns with 'His Airness' over the GOAT debate. Some discourses shape your imagination and rightly so.
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Edited by:

Bilal Handoo

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