Kentucky sprinted out to a big first half lead, but almost let it slip away against Mississippi State.
After falling into a 4-0 hole, Kentucky responded with an 18-2 run to give the eighth-ranked Cats a comfortable first half lead. UK didn’t bring the same energy out of the halftime locker room. A myriad of turnovers and missed buckets near the basket gave No. 22 Mississippi State a window to make a run.
With 13:36 left to play, the Bulldogs cut the Kentucky lead to two. The Cats received a wake up call at the right time. Five minutes later P.J. Washington hit a corner three to put UK up 14, the largest lead of the night at the time. Kentucky entered cruise control to defeat their second straight ranked opponent 76-55.
Washington’s dominant final ten minutes paved the way for a 21-point performance. Ashton Hagans set a new career-high for assists with eight. Reid Travis struggled offensively against State’s interior length, yet still grabbed 12 rebounds. The complete box score: