Kentucky 91-89 Mississippi State (February 27, 2024) Game Summary

STARKVILLE, Miss. – Reed Sheppard scored on a layup with a tenth of a second remaining He finished with a career-high 32 points, giving No. 16 Kentucky a 91-89 win over Mississippi State on Tuesday night.

Mississippi State's Josh Hubbard tied the game at 89 with 11 seconds left by hitting his seventh 3-pointer of the game. Hubbard finished with career bests with seven 3s and 34 points.

Kentucky led 85-78 with 49 seconds left before Hubbard hit a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to four points at 85-81. After Sheppard converted a pair of free throws, Mississippi State's Cameron Matthews converted a three-point play that cut the lead to 87-84. The Bulldogs closed within one point after Tolu Smith hit two free throws, before two more free throws by Sheppard with 17 seconds left restored the three-point advantage and set up a frantic finish.

Antonio Reeves scored 21 points for Kentucky (20-8, 10-5 SEC). Adou Thiero added 11 points and DJ Wagner 10. Kentucky has won 19 straight regular-season meetings with Mississippi State, including four overtime victories.

“He plays to win,” Kentucky coach John Calipari said of Sheppard. “He's not playing not to lose. We had to make some 3s to stay in the game. So we were running things to get about 3s in the first half to stay in the game. They went to the zone (in the second half), but we still ran things.” Things to get rid of some looks in 3s.

Kentucky shot 55% from the floor and made 10 of 30 attempts from 3-point range. The Wildcats shot 15-for-17 from the line and had 10 turnovers. Mississippi State shot 52% from the field and made 11 of 25 shots from beyond the arc. The Bulldogs shot 12-for-17 from the line and committed 15 turnovers. They also outrebounded Kentucky 34-27.

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Smith scored 21 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for the Bulldogs (19-9 overall, 8-7). Shaquille Moore added 10 points.

“Once we hit a few shots to open the second half and get the lead out by 13, they replaced those two starters (Sheppard and Rob Dillingham) very quickly,” Mississippi State coach Chris Janz said. “They are two of the most dynamic goalkeepers in the country and they have increased their pace. They played with more speed, offensively, and were more determined.

“They got good looks up front and on the ball screens we weren't aggressive for any reason. But we have to give them a lot of credit. They had a great game and (Sheppard) is like another coach. We had the game where we wanted it to be and they flipped the script on us.” “

Mississippi State raced to a 14-3 lead and led the entire first half. Kentucky fought back and cut the deficit to 32-30 on a Wagner layup with 4:28 left in the first half. Mississippi State finished the half on an 11-5 run and led 43-35 at the break.

Mississippi State shot 53% in the first half and made 5 of 9 shots from behind the arc. The Bulldogs outscored Kentucky 20-13 in the first half, including six offensive boards.

Kentucky shot 48% from the floor in the first half and made 7 of 18 from long range.

The Big Picture

Kentucky: The Wildcats are closing in on fourth place in the SEC and still hoping for a double-bye into next month's SEC Tournament. Kentucky is a half-game behind South Carolina in the race for fourth place.

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Mississippi State: The road gets tougher this week for the Bulldogs with a trip to No. 11 Auburn on Saturday. The Bulldogs wrap up the regular season next week at Texas A&M and at home against South Carolina.

the next

Kentucky: Hosts Arkansas on Saturday.

Mississippi State: At Auburn on Saturday.

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AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-basketball-poll And https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball

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