Kentucky hangs on to win ugly game against Mississippi State
01/17/2017 09:39 PM
It was an ugly game that had no flow. Kentucky and Mississippi State combined to commit 52 fouls.
But that didn’t stop Kentucky from staying perfect in the SEC. The Wildcats (16-2, 6-0) defeated Mississippi State (12-5, 3-2) 88-81.
Kentucky went into the half with a 46-34 lead. Five players had two fouls.
John Calipari’s team fought off multiple Mississippi State runs in the second half. Kentucky had an 18 point lead with 12:54 left in the second half and appeared to be on their way to a comfortable win.
Not so fast. Mississippi State cut the lead to 66-62 with 8:56 to go to put the Bulldogs in position for the upset.
Dominique Hawkins responded with a huge three to give Kentucky a 69-62 lead. Kentucky would go on to score seven more points to extend their lead to ten points.
From there, De’Aaron Fox took over. Fox would go on to score Kentucky’s next nine points. He finished the game with a team-high 21 points.
Wenyen Gabriel had his second straight big game. Coming off of a six point, 16 rebound performance on Saturday, Gabriel was perfect from the floor (5-5 FG, 3-3 3P), scoring 13 points and grabbing eight rebounds.
Kentucky shot 51% from the floor and outrebounded Mississippi State 38-32. Mississippi State won the battle in the paint, outscoring the Wildcats down low 54-42.
It wasn’t pretty, but a win is a win.
Kentucky will now get ready for a matchup against No. 24 South Carolina on Saturday at Rupp Arena. Tip is set for 6 pm.
Final Box Score: