The Kentucky Wildcats are now 17-5 on the season following their 80-72 win over Mississippi State.
In a game where the frontcourts were expected to be the big story, UK’s starting big men did not disappointment. Nick Richards scored a career-high 27 points, 25 of which came in the second half, while EJ Montgomery had one of his best games as a Wildcat, going for 12 points, eight boards, three steals and a block.
The two also helped contain Bulldogs forward and All-SEC player Reggie Perry, who did score 14 but shot 4/16 from the field with three turnovers.
Following the win, UK released an updated version of the full season statistics now that 21 games are in the books.
And here are the postgame notes and milestones from win No 17 for the 2019-20 Wildcats:
Team Records and Series Notes
- Kentucky is 17-5 overall, 7-2 in the Southeastern Conference.
- Mississippi State is 14-8 overall, 5-4 in the league, ending a five-game SEC win streak tonight.
- UK leads the series 98-20 and has won 14 in a row.
- Kentucky’s 14-game winnings streak vs. Mississippi State is tied for its best active streak vs. an SEC school. UK has also won 14 consecutive games against Georgia.
- Next up: on Saturday, Kentucky takes on Tennessee in Knoxville at 1 p.m. That game will be televised by CBS.
- Nick Richards had a career-high 27 points along with 11 rebounds for his 10th double-double of the season.
- 25 of his 27 points came in the second half. The 25 points are the fourth most in a half by a player in the John Calipari era.
- 13 of 15 free throws are career highs in both categories.
- UK is 13-0 this season when he gets at least eight rebounds.
- Kentucky is 16-1 this season when he scores in double figures and 10-0 when he grabs double-figure boards.
- He is averaging 17.3 points and 9.7 rebounds over the last 11 games.
- Richards entered this season with one double-double in his first 74 career games.
- Immanuel Quickley ended with 21 points, his 11th straight game in double figures.
- He made 14 of 14 free throws, tying the school record for most free throws made in a game without a miss. Previously, Louie Dampier (Dec. 22, 1966 vs. Oregon State), Ramel Bradley (Nov. 7, 2007 vs. Gardner-Webb) and Jodie Meeks (Jan. 13, 2009 at Tennessee) also hit 14 without a miss.
- He’s averaging 17.8 points over the last 11 games.
- His 11-game double-figure scoring streak is the longest since PJ Washington did it in 12 straight games last season.
- EJ Montgomery finished with 12 points, his most since his career-high 25 vs. Fairleigh Dickinson on Dec. 7.
- UK is 4-0 this season when he scores in double figures.
- He also added eight rebounds and tied his career high for steals with three.
- Tyrese Maxey scored eight points and had five assists. UK is 6-0 this season when he has at least four assists.
Coach John Calipari
- Calipari is now 322-76 at UK.
- He has a 767-216 all-time on-court record.
- UK is 260-43 against unranked foes under Calipari.
- Kentucky is 54-13 under Calipari in “bounce back” games following losses (does not count end-of-season losses).
- UK is 143-40 under Calipari in SEC regular-season games.
- Calipari is now 15-0 all-time vs. Mississippi State.
- Kentucky has won 12 straight home games and is 13-1 in Rupp Arena this season.
- Mississippi State won the rebounding 40-37 and dominated second-chance points, 22-4.
- It was Kentucky’s first victory in five games this season when being outrebounded.
- Kentucky limited Mississippi State to 36.8% from the field.
- UK is 198-19 (.912) under Calipari when keeping the opponent at 40 percent or less, including 11-3 this season.
- Entering the game at 77.7% at the foul line, the Wildcats had another solid performance at 86.1% (31 of 35). It is UK’s fourth straight game shooting 80% or better.
- Kentucky led by as many as 14 points during the game. UK is 277-7 under Calipari when leading by at least 10 points during the game.
- Statistical oddity: With the Wildcats making only one 3-pointer tonight, UK improved to a 10-1 record under Calipari when making one or fewer 3-pointers.
- It’s the second straight game that UK had two players score at least 20 points. Quickley and Maxey scored 20-plus each at Auburn.
In the First Half
- The starting lineup consisted of Ashton Hagans, Tyrese Maxey, Immanuel Quickley, EJ Montgomery and Nick Richards for the eighth time this season. The Wildcats are 6-2 with the lineup.
- Keion Brooks Jr. was UK’s first substitute at the 14:31 mark.
- Kentucky held Mississippi State scoreless on the first four possessions while building a 7-0 lead.
- State rallied to tie at 9 but Quickley broke the deadlock with a step-back 3-pointer.
- UK eventually stretched the lead to 31-21, its largest of the half, before going to intermission up 31-23.
- It is the fewest points allowed in the first half since limiting Fairleigh Dickinson to 23 on Dec. 7.
- UK is now 15-2 this season when leading at halftime.
In the Second Half
- Kentucky began the second half with the opening lineup.
- UK improved the lead to 13 points at 38-25 and later 14 points at 50-36.
- State cut the lead to six at 60-54 with 4:36 remaining, but a dunk and jumper by Richards rebuffed the rally.
- The lead was again six, 64-58, but in the last 2:21 the Wildcats made 16 of 16 free throws – six by Richards, two by Hagans and the last eight by Quickley – to keep the visitors at bay.