Wednesday’s game between Kentucky and Mississippi State was billed as a battle of two teams who were fighting to work their way into the NCAA Tournament. Two teams that were living on the proverbial bubble. Two teams that could use a quality win to help their resume.
The game lived up to the hype.
The Cats made just enough plays down the stretch to hold off the Bulldogs 71-68 inside a rowdy Humphrey Coliseum in Starkville.
Kentucky (16-9, 7-5 SEC) got exactly what it needed in this game – a total team effort. The Cats had no clear star in the game, just a bunch of players who played hard and who made plays when UK needed them most.
Oscar Tshiebwe scored 18 points, including three crucial free throws late, and grabbed 11 rebounds in the game. Jacob Toppin had 16 points and Antonio Reeves had 14. Chris Livingston had 13 points and Cason Wallace, despite struggling from the floor, dished out a career-high 11 assists.