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POSTGAME NOTES: Wildcats Edge Mississippi State 71-67; UK Now 20-3



UK Athletics Photo by Chet White

Postgame Notes compiled by Tony Neely, UK Athletics

Final Score: No. 5 Kentucky 71, RV/21 Mississippi State 67

Team Records and Series Notes

  • Kentucky is now 20-3 overall and 9-1 in the Southeastern Conference.

  • Kentucky has won 10 in a row, its longest streak since a 14-game win streak in 2016-17.

  • UK has won nine consecutive SEC games, its longest since sweeping the 18-game league schedule in 2014-15.

  • Kentucky has won five straight road games, the longest road streak since sweeping the 10-game away schedule in 2014-15.

  • This is UK’s 11th straight 20-win season, including all 10 years under Coach John Calipari.

  • Mississippi State is 16-7, 4-6 in the SEC.

  • Kentucky leads the series 97-20 and has won 13 in a row vs. the Bulldogs, UK’s longest current winning streak against an SEC opponent. UK leads 36-12 in games played in Starkville.

  • Next for Kentucky: the Wildcats return home to host LSU on Tuesday at 7 p.m. The game will be televised on ESPN.

In the First Half

  • Kentucky started Ashton Hagans (pictured), Tyler Herro (pictured), Keldon Johnson, PJ Washington and Reid Travis for the 16th time this season. UK is now 13-3 with that lineup.

  • Washington got off to a good start, scoring UK’s first eight points, including a pair of 3-pointers.

  • Trailing 17-15, a 7-0 spurt over two minutes – including five points from Herro – put the Cats on a 22-17 cushion. UK never trailed again, but the drama was far from over.

  • A few minutes later, a 9-0 run put UK up 33-21. Hagans played in a role on all four baskets with assists on the first three, followed by two offensive rebounds that set up the final bucket.

  • All totaled, UK closed the first half with a 25-8 run for a 40-25 advantage at intermission.

  • Washington led the Cats with 10 points while Hagans directed traffic with seven assists.

  • UK made 5 of 11 from 3-point range while holding the home team to 0 of 4.

In the Second Half

  • Kentucky began the second half with the same starting lineup.

  • UK pushed out to 49-31, its largest lead of the game, before the Bulldogs warmed to the task.

  • MSU put together a 19-2 run to close the score to 51-50 with 8:41 remaining.

  • Washington responded with a post-up basket. Hagans followed with a driving basket and two free throws to give the Wildcats some breathing room at 57-50.

  • After a Bulldog 3-pointer, Johnson scored six straight to push the lead back to 10 at 63-53.

  • The Bulldogs lived up to their nickname, eventually pulling back within three points at 70-67.

  • MSU got the ball back with a chance to tie but Johnson stuffed a shot by Quinndary Weatherspoon (officially credited with a steal) and recovered the ball with 10 seconds left.

  • Hagans made 1 of 2 free throws as UK held on for the final margin.

Team Notes

  • Kentucky was strong around the basket today, leading the rebounding 35-28 and points in the paint 34-24.

  • UK is 18-1 this season when winning/tying the rebounding and 17-2 when prevailing in the paint.

  • During the current 10-game win streak UK has …

  • Held the opponents to 58.9 points per game

  • Limited the opponents to 37.9 percent from the field

  • Limited the opponents to 32.1 percent from 3-point range

  • UK improved to 253-5 (.981) under Calipari when leading by at least 10 points at any point in the game.

  • The Wildcats are now 239-40 vs. opponents not ranked in the Associated Press Top 25.

Player Notes

  • PJ Washington led the charge with 23 points.

  • He made 9 of 13 from the field and made all three tries from 3-point land.

  • It is his seventh 20-point game of the season and his fifth in the last six games.

  • He has eight straight games in double figures.

  • Tyler Herro had 12 points. He made two 3-pointers, including a crucial long-ranger – as the shot clock expired – with three minutes to go that helped keep Mississippi State at bay.

  • Reid Travis totaled eight points, a game-high rebounds and two blocked shots.

  • Ashton Hagans had four points and his nine assists tied his career high set on Jan. 22 vs. Mississippi State.

  • Hagans has 17 consecutive games with at least three assists. He’s led the team in assists 18 times this season.

  • UK is 5-0 this season when Hagans has seven or more assists.

  • Keldon Johnson had 13 points, seven rebounds and the crucial steal late in the game that preserved the victory.

Calipari

  • This is the 19th time in John Calipari’s career with a 10-game winning streak.

  • It’s Calipari’s 25th consecutive on-court 20-win season. He leads all active coaches with that streak.

  • Calipari is now 295-67 at UK.

  • He is now two wins away from tying Joe B. Hall for the second-most victories by a UK head coach in program history.

  • Calipari has a 740-207 all-time on-court record.