UK holds off Ole Miss in overtime, 89-86

01/06/2015 11:13 PM

Two minutes into their SEC opener with Ole Miss, it looked like it was going to be business as usual for John Calipari’s Wildcats, who raced out to a 12-0 lead in the first 135 seconds. But a dunk by M.J. Rhett lit a fuse under the Rebels, who charged back to take a 38-36 halftime lead and give UK everything they could handle before eventually falling in overtime, 89-86.

John Calipari’s team isn’t vulnerable to much and it appears that only a specific recipe of three-point shots, solid defensive rebounding and self-inflicted wounds by UK will do the trick and all three of those components seemed to be working in Ole Miss’ favor all night.

The Rebels would finish 9-17 from deep, with four of them coming in the first half courtesy of Stefan Moody, who had 16 in the opening period and a team-high 25 on the night. Ole Miss also held up their end of the bargain on the boards, before eventually getting out-rebounded 34-32.

But it was the inconsistency of Kentucky at the free throw line early that gave Ole Miss an opportunity. The Cats finished 28-40, good for 70%, but missed key free throws at inopportune times, never allowing themselves to create momentum and squash the never-ending barrage of Ole Miss’ offensive confidence.

In the end, John Calipari’s team proved to be too much as Willie Cauley-Stein and Trey Lyles both made key defensive stops late and Aaron Harrison’s 26 points led the charge.

The Cats remain undefeated as they head into Saturday’s game with Texas A&M in College Station. Stay tuned to KSTV on Tuesday for a full recap and comments from Calipari and his players.

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