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Kentucky edges Mississippi State in OT: 3 things to know and postgame banter

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This was an ugly one, but Kentucky was able to pull it out thanks to Kellan Grady.

Kellan Grady Isamu Haynes-Sunayama - Sea of Blue

The Kentucky Wildcats edged the Mississippi State Bulldogs on Tuesday night in overtime by a score of 82-74.

The Cats got off to a solid start, but one absence and a couple of guys in foul trouble limited the overall damage in the first half. While UK shot extremely well in the first half, they also turned the ball over at high rate, which led to a 37-24 halftime lead.

After the break, Kentucky looked like they might pull away, but every time they’d get up by 15 points or so, the Bulldogs just wouldn't go away. A couple late injuries allowed MSU to get a lot of momentum as they ended up fight back to tie the game and force OT.

In overtime, it was the Kellan Grady show as he finally found his shot after struggling for most of the game. It was ugly as a whole, but a win’s a win.

This was the 800th win of head coach John Calipari’s career. What a way to hit the milestone!

Next up, the Cats will travel to Lawrence to take on the Kansas Jayhawks on Saturday night.

The Cats missed TyTy

For a while, it looked like UK would be just fine in this one without TyTy, but we shouldn't get ahead of ourselves. TyTy Washington missed this one after suffering an ankle injury on Saturday at Auburn. He’s currently listed as day-to-day, which of course means he could be back Saturday, or he could be back by March Madness. I’ll guess it’s the former, but it’s a wait-and-see-approach right now.

The Cats shot the ball well for most of the game, but there were times when they couldn't buy a bucket. Early foul trouble also put UK in a bit of a pinch. Sahvir Wheeler picked up two fouls just five minutes into the game. Davion Mintz picked up three fouls in the first half. Kellan Grady ran the point at Davidson, but the SEC is a lot different than the Atlantic 10.

UK’s biggest struggle, however, came with turnovers. For most of the game, it didn't matter because the shots were falling, but by the end, it had clearly helped the Bulldogs fight their way back into the game.

A couple other injury notes: Jacob Toppin went out with an apparent ankle injury. He rolled it while driving to the basket and looked to be in obvious pain. Just minutes later, Oscar Tshiebwe rolled his ankle attempting to steal a pass out front. Toppin was able to return to the game in overtime after leaving with around eight minutes remaining. Tshiebwe also made his way back, thankfully.

Big O dominates

Stop me if you’ve heard this before...Oscar Tshiebwe dominated the Bulldogs. Nothing was easy as Big O was forced to work hard all night long. Obviously, that’s something we all know he’s accustomed to, but it definitely wore him—just not enough to stop him as he had Kentucky’s first 20-point, 20-rebound game since 1976.

Tshiebwe was a monster on the glass because, of course. He also showed a nice blend of paint scoring and midrange jumpers, to go along with some free throws. Oscar was able to put up yet another double-double. Kentucky’s National Player of the Year candidate only continues to bolster his case for the best player in the country.

However, as mentioned above, Big O joined Washington and Toppin with rolled ankles. He made his way back into the game, but we’ll all have to hope that the injuries stop and everybody can just get healthy.

Allen hates Mississippi State

Somebody really needs to take a deep look into why Dontaie Allen seemingly hates Mississippi State. As many of you remember, Allen twice scored 23 points against the Bulldogs, including once in the SEC Tournament.

While he didn't exactly put up those types of numbers, he did play arguably his best game of the season, regardless of what the box score says. He was active on both ends, including on the glass and in transition. He also scored his first points since November 29th.

We all know Allen can shoot the ball, despite the shots not falling at all this season, but he did more than that in this one. He gave the Cats some valuable minutes. In fact, he played much better than Mintz did in this one. Just take a look at this putback slam.

This was an ugly game, and the Cats better pick it up before Saturday’s showdown with Kansas.

Let’s celebrate this one!