LEXINGTON, Ky. — The Mississippi State men’s basketball team fell to the No. 15 Kentucky Wildcats, 80-72, Tuesday night at Rupp Arena.
With the loss, the Bulldogs fall to 14-8 (5-4 SEC), while the Wildcats improve to 17-5 (7-2 SEC).
The Bulldogs were held to an overall 25-of-68 (36.6%) shooting from the field. The Wildcats shot 24-of-54 (44.4%) from the field and outscored MSU 31-17 in points from the charity stripe.
The Kentucky defense limited sophomore forward Reggie Perry to 14 points on 4-of-16 shooting. He fouled out with 1:01 left in the game. Sophomore guard Robert Woodard II and freshman guard D.J. Stewart Jr. each finished with 15 points on 6-of-10 shooting, while senior guard Tyson Carter finished with 12 points but was just 2-of-9 from 3-point range.
MSU managed to outrebound Kentucky by a 40-37 edge, including 17-9 in offensive rebounds, but it wasn’t enough tonight.
The Wildcats jumped out to a 7-0 lead to start the game. A layup and 3-pointer by Stewart, who had 10 points in the first half, made it 7-5 with 17 minutes to play in the first half.
MSU tied it up after a layup by Abdul Ado made it 9-9. However, Kentucky managed to grow its lead to double digits at 31-21 with 1:42 to play in the opening half. A dunk by Woodard II made it a 31-23 game at the halftime break.
Kentucky led by as many as 14 points in the second half, but Mississippi State trimmed the lead to six with 4:36 remaining after a 3-pointer by Tyson Carter made it 60-54. That’s as close as the Bulldogs would get, though, as Kentucky went on to win 72-80.
The Bulldogs will be back home Saturday when they host Vanderbilt at 7 p.m. CT. The game will be televised by SEC Network.