Calipari and Kentucky knock off Mississippi State

LEXINGTON, KENTUCKY - JANUARY 22: John Calipari the head coach of the Kentucky Wildcats gives instructions to his team against the Mississippi State Bulldogs at Rupp Arena on January 22, 2019 in Lexington, Kentucky. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

LEXINGTON, Ky. – PJ Washington scored 21 points, including a big 3-pointer down the stretch, Tyler Herro added 18 and No. 8 Kentucky pulled away from No. 22 Mississippi State 76-55 on Tuesday night for their fifth consecutive victory.

The Wildcats (15-3, 5-1 Southeastern Conference) led for all but the early minutes, but had to survive some rough stretches that allowed the Bulldogs (14-4, 2-3) to get within 41-39 with 13:39 remaining. Kentucky answered with scoring 18 of the next 25 points over the next 6:50, helped by Herro’s three free throws and consecutive 3s by Immanuel Quickley and Washington, for a double-digit advantage it maintained.

Washington was 9 of 15 from the field with three 3s and grabbed six rebounds. Herro made all three from long range and all five free throws to follow his 20-point performance at Auburn. Reid Travis grabbed 12 rebounds as the Wildcats won the glass 43-36 and won the second of three consecutive Top-25 matchups. No. 9 Kansas is next on Saturday.

Kentucky also succeeded in holding MSU’s potent perimeter game to just 3 of 20 from behind the arc after entering the contest second in the SEC at 38 percent.

Quinndary Weatherspoon had 19 points and Tyson Carter 11 for the Bulldogs, who made just 19 of 61 from the field (31 percent) in their firs game against a ranked foe this season.

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