The Cats came out ready to play. They didn’t seem the least bit affected by the raucous Mississippi State crowd as they went into the half with a big 40-25 lead.
They built on that to open the second half. Kentucky extended their lead to 49-31 before completely falling apart.
The Bulldogs went on a ridiculous 19-2 run, and the Cats finally woke back up to hold off MSU.
Ashton Hagans did exactly what UK needed from him. He dished out a ton of assists, knocked down a big time three late in the shot clock, limited his turnovers, and sealed the win with a free throw. Of course, he continued his excellent defensive display, as well.
Reid Travis was good on both ends of the floor, again. His defense in the last month has been a pleasant and welcome surprise. He shut down MSU’s big men, and he crashed the boards hard. He is Kentucky’s anchor, scoring when they need it and grabbing crucial rebound after rebound.
Keldon Johnson struggled yet again offensively, but he at least contributed by playing solid defense and rebounding well. Tyler Herro had a hard time getting open looks, but he was more efficient today than he’s been recently.
Finally, EJ Montgomery continued his strong play. He dominated the boards in limited time, which was a big help.
This was a very good win in a tough road environment. It’s never easy to go down and win in StarkVegas.
Next up for the Cats is the LSU Tigers on Tuesday night. Kentucky will need to prepare for a battle in that one.
PJ Washington was the go-to guy once more. He fouled out with a little over a minute left in the game, but his veteran presence was exactly what Kentucky needed on the road.
He didn’t rebound well, but he had another 20-point game. It’s so nice to see him just absolutely dominate his opponents right now.
He finished with 23 points and three rebounds, while shooting 9-13 from the field and 3-3 from downtown.
The Cats really showed some fight today and were able to escape Starkville with the win. Go Cats!