Toppin scores 20 points, No. 15 Kentucky routs North Florida


LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Jacob Toppin scored a career-high 20 points and had 10 rebounds to help No. 15 Kentucky rout North Florida 96-56 on Wednesday.

The Wildcats (4-2) easily recovered from an 88-72 loss at No. 6 Gonzaga Sunday and won their 23rd consecutive home game against an unranked opponent.

Ten players scored for the Wildcats, with three starters reaching double figures. Oscar Tshiebwe had a second double-double of the season with 16 points and 15 rebounds. Antonio Reeves finished with 20 points. Toppin did most of his scoring in the second half with 12 points.

In his first start of the season, Reeves, an Illinois State transfer, scored 18 points in the first half and made four of Kentucky’s seven 3-pointers, including two in consecutive fashion. Reeves hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to close an impressive performance in the first half.

Jarius Hicklen led the Ospreys (1-4) with 17 points.


Kentucky: After dropping 11 spots in the Top 25 following two losses in six days last week, the Wildcats began a climb back toward the Top 10. The Wildcats have will play four of their next seven games at home. Kentucky continues to play unselfishly and finished with 23 assists and were averaging 19 per game entering the contest. Kentucky had nine blocks, led by freshman Ugonna Onyenso with four to go along with 10 rebounds, both career highs.

North Florida: The Ospreys have played only one home game through their first six games. North Florida’s lone win was a 72-66 triumph over South Carolina State at home on Nov. 19. Following road games at High Point (Dec. 3) and Houston (Dec. 6) to open December, North Florida will close out the calandar year with four home games.


North Florida: Hosts Trinity Baptist on Tuesday night.

Kentucky: Hosts in-state Bellarmine on Tuesday night. The Knights beat crosstown Louisville in their opener.


AP college basketball: and and