By Tony Acree How good of a BFF is Derek Willis? With fellow Kentucky guard Isaiah Briscoe one rebound away from a triple-double against the Ole Miss Rebels in Oxford Mississippi and time running out, Willis stepped to the line for a free throw and missed to the left. Badly. And who happened to be standing right there to grab the rebound? Yep. Briscoe, who finished with 10 rebounds, 11 assists and 19 points as Kentucky won 99-76. After only having one triple-double in school history prior to this season, they have now had two, with De’Aaron Fox getting one earlier in the year against Arizona State. When asked about the triple-double after the game, the ever humble Briscoe said, “I give credit to my teammates for putting me in the position that they were and finishing shots.”
The game was never in doubt as the young Wildcats bounced back from a loss over Louisville on Wednesday to pound the Ole Miss Rebels on the opening night of their new arena, The Pavilion. Any other night the story would be Malik Monk’s 34 points or Bam Adaebayo’s 25 points, but Briscoe set the tone early by diving on the floor for loose balls and running the team for most of the first half when point guard Fox got into early foul trouble.
Sebastian Saiz led the Rebels with 23 points and Deandre Burnett added 19 for the Rebels who were down double digits early in the first half and never got the game to single digits the rest of the way.
Next up for Kentucky is Texas A&M at 9 pm on Tuesday night.