After a less than inspiring first half, the ‘Kats left the floor trailing by two points at intermission. However the Wildcats player perhaps their best 20 minutes of the season, outscoring Ole Miss 35-20 to pull away for the win. Jodie Meeks led the way with 25 points while Patrick Patterson dominated the paint with 15 points, 14 rebounds and three blocked shots. Ole Miss was led by SEC freshman of the year who had 21 points and four assists. Former Gator David Huertas contributed 15 points, but made just 4-of-14 shots.
The teams battled on even terms for the first 12 minutes exchanging small leads until they were tied at 18. Ole Miss went up 23-20 before a Kentucky 8-0 run switched the advantage to the Wildcats. It didn't last long as the Rebels responded with an eight point run of their own to go up 31-28. Kentucky scored the next six points before Ole Miss ended the half on a 7-2 run for a 38-36 advantage.
Kentucky started strongly in the second half with a 13-2 run to take a 49-40 lead and Ole Miss never got closer than five the rest of the way. The win sends the ‘Kats (20-12) up against SEC Champ LSU in Friday's first quarterfinal game. Ole Miss falls to 16-15 and will have to cross its fingers in hopes of getting invited to the NIT or one of the other post-season events.
Next up, Mississippi State tries to advance past Georgia in the battle of the Bulldogs.
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