DeMarcus Cousins, Patrick Patterson and John Wall all had double-doubles for Kentucky, which improved to 25-1. More importantly the Cats stayed a full game in front of Vanderbilt for the SEC East lead by moving to 10-1.
The Bulldogs were not the only team that played well Tuesday night. The Cats came into an electric atmosphere. A capacity crowd filled The Hump and fans did their best to distract and disrupt the young Wildcats team.
Kentucky played most of the first half with a modest lead. Only once did they spread the lead to as much as seven points. Patrick Patterson (19 points, 10 rebounds) connected to put the Cats out front 29-22 near the 4-minute mark. Jarvis Varnado and Dee Bost would hit baskets to pull State back into the game but the Cats held a slim 3-point halftime lead.
In the second half Dee Bost, Barry Stewart and Kodi Augustus made their presence felt for the Bulldogs. Their work enabled State turn the 3-point halftime deficit into a 4-point lead four minutes into the second half.
It was an all out war the rest of the game.
State hung tough down the stretch despite losing their leading rebounder to foul disqualification. They built their largest lead of seven with just three minutes remaining in the game.
The Cats would come back beginning with a three-pointer by DeAndre Liggins, and baskets by Eric Bledsoe and Patrick Patterson, who sent the game into overtime with a basket with just 40-seconds remaining.
In the extra period, the Wildcats would never trail. DeMarcus Cousins drew first blood with a made free throw, followed by a pair of charity tosses by Patterson. Dee Bost would tie the game at 70 with a jumper. Cousins then put the Wildcats up for good with a tip from a John Wall miss.
In the waning seconds the crowd got ugly, booing and tossing water bottles onto the floor.
Kentucky hits the road again against Vanderbilt in Nashville on Saturday. Vandy must play Ole Miss on the road prior to meeting Kentucky. Vanderbilt has only two losses in the SEC East and, provided they get past the Rebels, will be playing for a share of the SEC East lead with the Cats. The Wildcats handled Vandy fairly easily in Rupp in their first meeting but the Dores will be seeking to keep their undefeated home record intact.