The Kentucky Wildcats get a season-saving win in Starkville against the Mississippi State Bulldogs, 71-68.
Kentucky led by as many as 13 midway through the second half, but a borderline collapse by the Wildcats let the Bulldogs back into the game, taking it down to the final seconds.
It was Chris Livingston’s best game in the blue and white, posting 13 points, five boards, and some crucial free throws down the stretch.
For Kentucky, this more than likely puts them back in the field of 68 as the win over Mississippi State is a Quad 1 win. That brings their Quad 1 record to 2-7 on the season, with a handful more waiting in the final five games.
Kentucky now gets round two with the Tennessee Vols, who come to Lexington on Saturday, fresh off a win over No. 1 Alabama, and looking for revenge from Kentucky’s stunner back in January.
If Kentucky can squeak that one out, their tournament hopes look better, but that’s obviously a big if vs. a very dangerous Tennessee squad that will be playing with an edge.
For now, this is a night to celebrate. Here’s what Twitter had to say.
Road W pic.twitter.com/NFhxMMl6Vo— Kentucky Men’s Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) February 16, 2023
Road dub for the Cats @KentuckyMBB pulls out a close one against Mississippi State pic.twitter.com/kVUDxq8oQq— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) February 16, 2023
JT lob!@wallace_cason @Jtoppin0 pic.twitter.com/MGnbPknmzn— Kentucky Men’s Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) February 16, 2023
.@Oscartshiebwe34 has recorded his 43rd career double-double with @KentuckyMBB tonight, tying Jim Andrews for the 3rd most in a career for a Kentucky player since 1951— Corey Price (@coreyp08) February 16, 2023
Not many guards who are the team's No. 1 option are going to be an overall (large) plus on nights they shoot 1 of 12.— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_ATH) February 16, 2023
But Cason Wallace has, because 11 assists, 4 boards, 1 turnover. Lob to Toppin for the slam, 66-60 UK lead, 1:38 to go.
Kentucky signed the No. 1 or 2 point guard, combo guard, small forward and center in the 2023 class. No power forward. Chris Livingston coming back could dominate as a college power forward on that squad.— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_ATH) February 16, 2023
Big win for Kentucky. Second Quadrant 1 win of the season and has to put them back on the right side of the bubble for now you'd think. Snaps MSU's 5-game win streak and while missing two rotation players.— Justin Rowland (@RowlandRIVALS) February 16, 2023
Chris Livingston with his best all-around performance as a Wildcat.— Jack Pilgrim (@JackPilgrimKSR) February 16, 2023
Kentucky does not win in Starkville without the five-star freshman. 13 points (3-6 FG, 6-6 FT), five rebounds, three assists, two steals in 32 minutes.
The end of game decisions left A LOT to be desired— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) February 16, 2023
But we won…and in the end that’s all that matters
An ugly sec road win is a good sec win— Joe Sonka (@joesonka) February 16, 2023
Quad 1 W baby #BBN— KG (@__NotKG) February 16, 2023
Announcers when Miss St makes an average layup on us pic.twitter.com/PVoKvpTGxH— Barstool Kentucky (@BarstoolUK) February 16, 2023
Chris Livingston was the most important player…that last Rebound and those Free Throws…— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) February 16, 2023
Kentucky pulls out a close one against Mississippi State, 71-68, getting an important quad-one win. #BBN— Tristan Pharis (@TristanUda) February 16, 2023
Chris Livingston with the most important rebound of Kentucky's season, grabbing the carom off Antonio Reeves' miss with 8.1 seconds left -- Wildcats were in a must-win situation and they go on the road and get a huge three-point win at fellow bubble team Mississippi State.— Jeff Borzello (@jeffborzello) February 16, 2023
Respect the refs please— Bobby Reagan (@BarstoolReags) February 16, 2023
Win!— T.J. Walker (@TJWalkerRadio) February 16, 2023
Get a couple more Q1 wins (UF now looks like great opportunity), win a first round game and put yourself in a position to take a shot at a contender to reach the Sweet 16. That's an attainable goal.— Justin Rowland (@RowlandRIVALS) February 16, 2023
Kentucky 71, Mississippi State 68— TheCatsPause247 (@TheCatsPause247) February 16, 2023
Oscar Tshiebwe: 18 pts, 11 reb, 2 ast
Jacob Toppin: 16 pts, 2 ast, 2 stls
Antonio Reeves: 14 pts
Chris Livingston: 13 pts, 5 reb, 3 ast, 2 stls
Cason Wallace: 4 pts, 4 reb, 11 ast, 2 stls
Adou Thiero: 4 pts, 4 rebs
Daimion Collins: 2 pts, 2 reb
Cats kept fighting pic.twitter.com/s6JsWEubh9— Kentucky Athletics (@UKAthletics) February 16, 2023
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