Kentucky 90, Mississippi State 77


LEXINGTON, Ky. - Antonio Reeves scored 27 points and No. 8 Kentucky beat Mississippi State 90-77 for coach John Calipari’s 400th victory with the Wildcats.

Kentucky (13-3, 3-1 Southeastern Conference) shot 62% in the second half and 56% overall to provide the milestone victory for the Hall of Famer, who became the third-fastest active coach to achieve that with a program.

Rob Dillingham added 16 points for the Wildcats.

Tolu Smith III had 26 points for the Bulldogs (12-5, 1-3). They dropped their third of four SEC games, failing to regroup from a home loss to Alabama. Mississippi State shot 35% in the first half and 53% in the second.

Kentucky’s accurate shooting helped it build a 47-29 halftime lead and forge a cushion after the Bulldogs rallied to 49-43 just after the break. Kentucky outscored Mississippi State 12-3 over a 2:51 span for a double-digit lead and stayed ahead to rebound from a 97-92 overtime loss at Texas A&M on Saturday.

Reeves was 8 of 12 from the field with a pair of 3-pointers and made nine free throws without a miss. He scored 16 points in the first half to jump-start the Wildcats, with Dillingham adding 10 by halftime. Tre Mitchell added 15 points and Aaron Bradshaw 11 for Kentucky.


Mississippi State: The Bulldogs started 2 of 9 from the field with seven consecutive misses, followed by an 0-for-7 stretch later in the half. Climbing out of the hole it caused proved tough, though they got within two possessions early in the second half before Kentucky stretched its advantage soon after.

Kentucky: Just when the Wildcats seemed to quell concerns about their defense, they allowed the Bulldogs back in the game with sloppy play on both ends. But they regrouped from that lull and weren’t really threatened despite being outscored 44-38 in the paint.

Kentucky athletics press release

January 17, 2024