UK MEN’S BASKETBALL POSTGAME NOTES
KENTUCKY vs. MISSISSIPPI STATE
RUPP ARENA | LEXINGTON, KY.
JAN. 22, 2019 ATTENDANCE: 21,449
Final Score: #8/9 Kentucky 76, #22 Mississippi State 55
Team Records and Series Notes
Kentucky won its fifth in a row and is 15-3 overall, 5-1 in the Southeastern Conference. Mississippi State is 14-4, 2-3 in the SEC.
Kentucky leads the series 96-20 but has a slim 5-4 lead when both teams are ranked.
UK has won 12 in a row overall vs. the Bulldogs.
Next for Kentucky: the Wildcats play their final nonconference game of the regular season Saturday by hosting Kansas at 6 p.m. The game will be televised on ESPN or ESPN2.
Rupp Arena will be the site for the popular ESPN College GameDay Show on Saturday from 11 a.m. to noon. Gates open at 9 a.m.
In the First Half
Kentucky started Ashton Hagans, Tyler Herro, Keldon Johnson, PJ Washington and Reid Travis for the 11th time this season. UK is now 8-3 with that lineup.
After Mississippi State tallied two baskets, UK got 10 straight points, including seven from Johnson.
Moments later, an 8-0 run made it 18-6 in favor of the Wildcats. It was an 18-2 run overall after the early 4-0 hole.
UK had its largest lead of the half at 20-7.
MSU rallied within 28-22 before UK went to halftime with a 34-26 advantage.
On the strength of three 3-pointers, Herro led all scorers in the first half with 11 points.
In the Second Half
After a UK basket to make the lead 10, Mississippi State steadily whittled away and pulled within two at 41-39.
Nick Richards made the front end of a 1-and-1, then took a nifty dish from Herro for a dunk, starting a 16-4 run to make it 57-43.
Ahead 64-53, UK finished the game with a 12-2 run.
All totaled, after MSU had pulled within two points, UK finished the game on a 35-16 spurt.
Mississippi State totaled a season-low 55 points. UK is 68-0 under Coach John Calipari when keeping the opponent at 55 points or less, including 4-0 this season.
Mississippi State shot only 31.1 percent from the field. UK is 171-15 (.918) under Calipari when keeping the opponent at 40 percent or less, including 7-0 this season.
Kentucky is 3-1 vs. Associated Press Top 25 teams this season, including consecutive victories over Auburn and Mississippi State. UK will have a chance for wins vs. ranked opponents in three consecutive games when the Wildcats play host to No. 9/10 Kansas on Saturday.
This was the first time UK had defeated AP Top 25 opponents in consecutive games (with no game in between) since the 2015 NCAA Midwest Regional.
UK’s 21-point margin of victory is the most vs a ranked opponent since dispatching No. 13 Michigan State, 69-48, on Nov. 15, 2016.
UK improved to 248-5 (.980) under Calipari when leading by at least 10 points at any point in the game.
UK has won 14 in a row at Rupp Arena, including 11-0 this season.
PJ Washington led all scorers with 21 points, most for him since the Seton Hall game.
He also contributed six rebounds and tied his career best for blocked shots with four.
It’s the fifth time this season he’s led UK in scoring.
It’s the third 20-point game of the season, fifth career.
He made three 3-pointers, one off his career high.
Tyler Herro had 18 points, making all three of his 3-point tries and 5-of-5 at the foul line.
UK is 6-0 this season when Herro makes at least three 3-pointers.
UK is 10-0 this season when Herro scores at least 15 points.
Ashton Hagans had five points, a career-high nine assists and two steals.
Hagans has 12 consecutive games with at least three assists. He’s led the team in assists 12 times this season.
Hagans school-record streak of seven straight games with at least three steals came to an end tonight. His streak was the most by a freshman in a major conference since Chris Paul (Wake Forest) had a stretch of 10 straight games with three or more steals in the 2003-04 season.
Keldon Johnson sparked the Wildcats with seven points in the early 10-0 flurry, finishing with nine points total. He added five rebounds, two assists and tied his career best for steals with three.
Reid Travis had five points, and for the third time this season, collected a dozen rebounds.
It’s the fifth time this season he’s led the team in rebounding.
Nick Richards had an active 10 minutes, totaling eight points, six rebounds and a blocked shot.
The eight points are his best since the season-high 10 against Winthrop on Nov. 21.