Kentucky Defeats MSU, 70-62

No. 2 Kentucky (22-3, 12-0 SEC) defeated No. 19 Mississippi State (17-6, 7-5) 70-62 Sunday afternoon at Rupp Arena.

Keith Bogans had 18 points and seven rebounds and Cliff Hawkins added 14 points for the Wildcats.

Mario Austin had 20 points and eight rebounds for the Bulldogs. Other Bulldogs in double figures were Timmy Bowers with 13 points and Michal Ignerski with 11 points.

The Wildcats outrebounded Mississippi State 37-25, the first time in 10 games the Bulldogs have been outrebounded.

Down by double digits during the first half and the first part of the second half, MSU, playing excellent defense in the latter half of the second half, rallied to within 5 points with the ball before the Wildcats extended the lead to the game-winning eight point margin.


Rick Stansbury:

About the loss.
"None of us are ever happy to lose. I told my team that I don't want you to be happy that we got beat but I want you to be proud of the way you fought back and put yourself back into position against the team that I feel, no question, is the best team in the country on their homecourt. We had ever opportunity in the world, after being down by 19 points, to be blown out. But our kids, from that point on, we quit turning the ball over, we played with a lot more focus, we got better defensively, and we started to make some shots. From there, it was a different game. We cut it to 10 at halftime. We had three chances in a row (to score) when the score was 60-55 to get it to three, but we turned the ball over. Two of them were when we were feeding the post to Mario and one on an inbounds play when we were wide open. When you are on the road and you get three opportunities to cut into that lead, you have to do it. At the same time, I am very proud of the effort our kids played with."

Wednesday's game vs. Alabama in the Hump.
"We are going to take nothing but positives out of this. The (loss) is over. I told my kids when you come out of the locker room this one is over and behind us. Let's get home and get ready for Wednesday. Wednesday becomes a huge game for us as all of them are. We are competing for the championship in the West. Our next game is against a very good Alabama team and we have to be able to hold our own court."

About the possibility of playing Kentucky again in the SEC Tournament.
"Maybe our two teams can meet again in a neutral site, maybe in the SEC (Tournament) Championship. I think that our kids would like that opportunity."

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