UK holds off Bulldogs in final minute


STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) — Oscar Tshiebwe had 18 points and 11 rebounds, Jacob Toppin scored 16 points, and visiting Kentucky held off Mississippi State 71-68 on Wednesday night.

Tolu Smith scored in the paint to get the Bulldogs within 66-62 with 1:21 remaining.

Kentucky then missed a couple of 3-pointers and had a jumper blocked by Cameron Matthews before giving possession back to Mississippi State with 49 seconds left.

Shakeel Moore hit a jumper to make it 66-64 with 39 seconds left.

The Bulldogs forced a missed 3-pointer as the shot clock ran out on Kentucky’s ensuing possession, but Livingston came up with the offensive rebound with seven seconds left, was fouled and made both free throws.

Mississippi State extended the game at the free-throw line, but eventually Tshiebwe made a pair to ice the game.

Livingston had 13 points (6 of 6 from the line), with five rebounds, three assists and two steals for Kentucky (17-9, 8-5 SEC) — and Antonio Reeves scored 14 points.

Tshiebwe had seven of Kentucky’s 18 offensive rebounds.

Smith scored 22 points on 8-of-9 shooting and 6 of 7 free throws.

Cameron Matthews had 11 points, seven rebounds and six assists.

Moore had 14 points and Dashawn Davis added 13 for the Bulldogs (17-9, 5-8).

The Wildcats led for 17 minutes of the first half, but Mississippi State fought back from a 17-point deficit to trail 36-35 at halftime after Matthews beat the buzzer with a 3-pointer.

Kentucky had won six of seven before losing to Arkansas and Georgia in back-to-back games.

Mississippi State had won five in a row.

The Wildcats beat Mississippi State for the 17th time in 18 games in 13 seasons with John Calipari as their coach.

Kentucky hosts No. 10 Tennessee on Saturday, as Tennessee defeated top-ranked Alabama 68-59 on Wednesday.

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