Men's Basketball
Kentucky-Mississippi State Men's Basketball Postgame Notes

Kentucky-Mississippi State Men's Basketball Postgame Notes

FEB. 27, 2024

Final Score: No. 16/15 Kentucky 91, (RV) Mississippi State 89

Team Records and Series Notes

  • Kentucky is 20-8 on the season, 10-5 in the Southeastern Conference.
  • Mississippi State ended a five-game winning streak and is now 19-9 overall, 8-7 in the SEC.
  • Kentucky leads the series 103-21 and has won the last four against the Bulldogs.
    • UK leads 39-12 in games played in Starkville and has won the last nine in Humphrey Coliseum.
  • Next for Kentucky: the Wildcats begin their final two home games Saturday against Arkansas.  Game time is 1:30 p.m. and it will be televised by CBS.

Team Notes

  • Kentucky poured in 56 points in the second half – including 23 from Reed Sheppard and 14 from Antonio Reeves — to overcome a 13-point second-half deficit to rally for the win.
  • UK is now 8-4 this season away from Rupp Arena, including 6-3 on opponents’ home court.
  • Kentucky led for just 4:14 of the game, the shortest length of time in a win this season.
  • Kentucky scored 91 points. UK entered the game third in the nation in scoring at 88.7 points per game.
  • Kentucky shot 55% from the field (33 of 60). UK is 12-0 this season making at least 50% from the field.
  • After missing both free throw attempts in the first half, UK hit 15 of 15 in the second half.  The Wildcats made 9 of 9 in the final 1:10 of the game.
  • UK had 15 assists and 10 turnovers, a +1.5 ratio.  UK entered the game 10th in the nation with a ratio of +1.70.
  • UK had seven blocked shots.  UK entered the game third nationally in blocks with 6.2 rejections per game.
  • With Tre Mitchell shelved with a shoulder injury for the fourth straight game, UK has not played a complete game this season with all players available.
    • Including today, eight players have missed a total of 52 games because of injury, illness or other factors.  Among those who play regularly, Antonio Reeves, Reed Sheppard and Jordan Burks are the only ones who have been available every game.

Player Notes

  • Reed Sheppard had a career-high 32 points, his first 30-point game and sixth 20-point game of the season.
    • He also led the Wildcats with five rebounds, seven assists and two steals.
    • His two steals give him at least two thefts in 23 of 28 games.
    • He now has 76 steals on the season, already tied for third on the UK single-season list.
    • He is the third Wildcat to reach the 30-point mark this season, also Reeves and Dillingham.
  • Antonio Reeves had 21 points, his fourth straight 20-point game and 17th of the season.
    • Reeves is first Wildcat with four consecutive 20-point games since PJ Washington in February of 2019.
    • He has scored in double figures in every game but one this season.
    • He also has hit at least one 3-pointer in every game but one this season.
  • Adou Thiero had 11 points.  It’s his fifth double-figure game of the season but four of those are in the last six games.  He’s averaging 10.7 points in the last six games.
  • D.J. Wagner had 10 points, including a pair of 3-pointers, plus four assists.
    • It was his first double-digit game and 3-pointer made since returning from injury for the Gonzaga game on Feb. 10.
  • Rob Dillingham had nine points, but seven came in the final 4:22 of the game, including the 3-pointer that gave UK its first lead of the game.

Coach John Calipari

  • Calipari has an 852-261 (76.5%) all-time on-court record, including 407-121 (77.0%) at Kentucky.
  • Calipari is 335-70 against unranked opponents while at Kentucky.
  • Calipari is 403-131 in conference games during his career, including 195-65 in the SEC.
    • Calipari tied C.M. Newton (Alabama, Vanderbilt) for the fourth-most regular-season SEC wins in league history.
  • Calipari is 20-1 vs. Mississippi State.

In the First Half

  • Kentucky started D.J. Wagner, Antonio Reeves, Justin Edwards, Adou Thiero and Ugonna Onyenso for the fourth straight game.  UK is 3-1 with this lineup.
  • Rob Dillingham and Reed Sheppard were UK’s first substitutions with 17:20 remaining.
  • Tied at 3, Mississippi State went on a 11-0 run for a 14-3 lead.
  • Kentucky eventually trimmed the gap to two points at 32-30, but MSU lengthened to 43-35 at intermission.
  • UK is 3-5 this season when trailing at halftime.

In the Second Half

  • Kentucky began the second half with the starting lineup.
  • Mississippi State came out hot with nine quick points for a 52-39 lead and UK called timeout at 18:10.
  • Kentucky eventually closed within 60-58 and MSU called timeout with 10:35 to go.
  • Dillingham’s 3-pointer with 4:22 left gave UK its first lead of the game at 72-71 and the Wildcats never trailed again.
  • Dillingham followed with a dish to Bradshaw for a dunk, capping a 7-0 run at 74-71.
  • Dillingham’s driving layup with two minutes left kept UK up 76-73.
  • Sheppard popped a short jumper, and following a UK steal, converted a fast break layup-and-one to make it 81-75.
  • Sheppard blocked a shot and Dillingham converted both ends of 1-and-1 for 83-75 with 57 seconds left.
  • Reeves converted both ends of a 1-and-1 with 48 seconds left, 85-78.
  • Sheppard converted both ends of a 1-and-1 with 35 seconds left for 87-81.
  • MSU got within 87-86 and Sheppard was fouled with 16 seconds left.  He made both to make it 89-86.
  • Mississippi State’s Josh Hubbard, who led all scorers with 34 points, tied it with a long three with eight seconds left.
  • Sheppard nimbled through the lane for a short jumper to make it 91-89 with 0.5 seconds left, then after a timeout, stole the long inbounds pass to clinch the win.


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