STARKVILLE, Miss. — Despite a big-time second half run, Mississippi State men’s basketball couldn’t keep up with No. 5 Kentucky as the Wildcats outlasted the Bulldogs, 71-67, Saturday afternoon at Humphrey Coliseum.
The Bulldogs drop to 16-7 (4-6 SEC), while Kentucky improves to 20-3 (9-1 SEC). The Wildcats have now won 10 straight games and 13 of their last 14.
Things were tight early with the Bulldogs and Wildcats trading baskets. That was until Kentucky went on a late first half run to close out the opening half, which included MSU being outscored 25-8 over the final 9:42.
The teams went into the locker room with Kentucky leading 40-25. MSU’s Quinndary Weatherspoon was held scoreless on just one shot attempt in the first half.
The second half started out the same way as the first half ended.
Quinndary Weatherspoon finally found the bottom of the basket with 18:16 left in the second half when he hit a three to make it a 44-31 in favor of the Wildcats. However, Kentucky had total control of the game and increased its lead to 49-31 with 16:34 to go in the ballgame.
It was only a matter of time until Quinndary Weatherspoon would find his groove, and he did just that to make it a game again.
The Bulldogs went on a 19-2 run, fueled by nine points from Q. He also knocked down two free throws to cut Kentucky’s lead to 51-50 with 8:41 left in the game. The high-powered Wildcats then went on a 12-3 run of their own to take a 63-53 lead with just over five minutes to go.
The Bulldogs managed to get back within four when a 3-pointer by Lamar Peters made it 65-61 with 3:29 left in the second stanza.
The squads then traded a pair of three pointers to make it 68-64 with 2:43 to go, but the Wildcats outlasted the Bulldogs in the end with a 71-67 Southeastern Conference win.
Peters led the Bulldogs with 16 points, while Quinndary Weatherspoon tallied 14 points and four rebounds. Reggie Perry added four points and a team-high six rebounds. Robert Woodard II turned in nine points, five rebounds and two blocks.
As a team, MSU shot 47.4 percent from the field.
Kentucky’s PJ Washington led all scorers with 23 points.
The Bulldogs finish their three-game homestand this Tuesday when they host Alabama. Tip off is scheduled for 8 p.m. CT and is televised by SEC Network.