February 22, 2012

Bulldogs can't hold lead against UK

STARKVILLE, Miss., - Mississippi State had the nation's top team on the ropes Tuesday night but were unable to put them away late.

The Bulldogs jumped all over Kentucky from the start and led for nearly 36 minutes but the Wildcats closed out the game on a 19-4 run to escape with a 73-64 victory at Humphrey Coliseum.

"I am actually disappointed that we lost, but I am also awfully proud of our ball team for the effort they played with," said MSU head coach Rick Stansbury. "I thought for the first twenty minutes, we were about as good as you can be at both ends. Defensively we controlled the game and offensively we were very precise at both ends."

Kentucky (27-1) kept their undefeated league record intact at 13-0 with the win and was their 19th consecutive victory overall.

"First of all, let me commend Mississippi State; their fans and their team," said UK head coach John Calipari. "That is a heck of a ball team. At the end there, it got away from them. Darius Miller made some big shots. We made some free throws. We did some stuff down the stretch - we had a couple of good blocks and defensive stops. This was as good an environment that we have played in this year."

The Wildcats shot 50-percent from the floor in the second half to up their field goal percentage for the game at 43.9-percent. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist led the way for UK with a double-double effort of 18 points on 7-of-12 shooting and 10 rebounds.

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