Mount St. Mary's bracing for rebound boss Oscar Tshiebwe, No. 13 Kentucky

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Mount St. Mary's bracing for rebound boss Oscar Tshiebwe, No. 13 Kentucky

Oscar Tshiebwe aims to continue his sterling start to the season on Tuesday when No. 13 Kentucky hosts Mount St. Mary's in Lexington, Ky.

Tshiebwe recorded his second consecutive double-double and 14th of his career on Friday after collecting 14 points and 20 rebounds in the Wildcats' 100-60 victory over Robert Morris. The West Virginia transfer had 17 points and 19 boards in Kentucky's 79-71 setback to then-No. 9 Duke on Tuesday.

For Tshiebwe, providing a presence in the paint goes a long way toward the success of Kentucky (1-1). After all, he set the bar high prior to the season by declaring that he wanted to average 20 rebounds a game.

"Rebounding can help your team to win the game. You give one more chance to your team," Tshiebwe said. "Since I figured it out, if I have to fight, I have to work for the rebound, I'm going to fight for that rebound like no one believes. I have to know where the ball's going. I have to know my guy's boxing me out. I got to do a lot of work. I got to be in a position where I'm going to take the ball."

Tshiebwe's hard work has not gone unnoticed by his teammates.

"Oscar is a good rebounder because he just never stops hustling, he just fights for every rebound, that's his mentality he just wants to get every single rebound," Daimion Collins said.

Collins highlighted his 14-point performance off the bench with a pair of highlight-reel dunks late in the game on Friday.

Sahvir Wheeler followed up his 10-assist performance against the Blue Devils with 12 assists three nights later.

Kellan Grady finished with 19 points on 7-of-11 shooting -- including 4-of-6 from behind the arc -- to go along with a team high-tying three steals.

Mount St. Mary's (1-2) has played in three straight lopsided decisions to open the 2021-22 season. The Mountaineers were on the business end of a 91-51 shellacking by Villanova last Tuesday before rebounding for a record-setting 117-62 victory over Washington College two days later.

Mount St. Mary's set a program record for most points in a game since moving to Division I in 1988-89.

"It's definitely nice, especially coming off of a game with such big guys at Villanova, to be able to, you know, get some confidence -- a couple dunks," Malik Jefferson said. "It was a good night for our guys."

Sophomore Dakota Leffew scored a career-high 15 points off the bench and Jefferson added 12 on Saturday, however Mount St. Mary's struggled from the floor as a team in an 80-60 loss to Saint Joseph's. The Mountaineers shot 32.8 percent from the floor (19 of 58) and made just three 3-pointers for the game.

Kentucky won its lone meeting against Mount St. Mary's, an 82-62 decision on Nov. 22, 2019. Jefferson scored 10 points in that game versus the Mountaineers.

--Field Level Media