Steady Reeves Leads No. 8/10 Kentucky Past Mississippi State
When Antonio Reeves decided to come back to Kentucky this season, he was expected to be the go-to scorer on a team filled with young talent.
Reeves has certainly lived up to that expectation, scoring in double figures in 15 of Kentucky’s 16 games, including on Wednesday night when he posted a game-high 27 points as No. 8/10 Kentucky beat Mississippi State 90-77 inside Rupp Arena.
It was the eighth game this season in which Reeves has scored at least 20 points, the second in a row and the fourth such game in UK’s last six contests.
Kentucky (13-3, 3-1 Southeastern Conference) got 16 points from Rob Dillingham, who added four rebounds and four assists.
Tre Mitchell made all five of his field goal attempts, including his only three, and all four of his free throws on his way to 15 points. Aaron Bradshaw added 11 points and six rebounds for the Cats.
UK head coach John Calipari knows that it’s tough to win each and every night in the SEC.
“That was a good team that we beat today,” Calipari said. “Every game in this league is like a rock fight. Kids were ready today.”
Kentucky trailed 5-2 early before scoring 13 in a row to lead 15-5. Reed Sheppard came off the bench to spark the run, handing out three assists in one minute of action.
Mississippi State responded with back-to-back threes from Shawn Jones Jr., cutting the UK lead to 15-11. Kentucky answered by scoring 12 of the next 17 points, sparked by eight points from Dillingham, to lead 27-16.
MSU scored the next four before the Cats went on a 13-2 run, including nine in a row, to grow the lead to 40-22. The teams played even for the remainder of the half and the Cats took a 47-29 lead into the break. Reeves led all scorers with 16 points in the first 20 minutes.
Mississippi State opened the second half with an 14-2 run to cut the UK lead to 49-43 less than three minutes into the half. UK responded with a 9-1 run to re-establish a double-digit lead, 58-44.
Kentucky would hold that double-digit lead for the remainder of the game, leading by as many as 18 in the second half before settling for the 13-point win.
The Cats return to action on Saturday, hosting Georgia at Rupp Arena. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. and the game can be seen on the SEC Network.