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CATS Escape Starkville with 71-67 Win

UK's Ashton Hagans Drives from the Wing - photo by Brendon D. Miller - Bluegrass Sports Nation

Starkville, Mississippi – February 9, 2019 Michael Willis – Bluegrass Sports Nation UK Basketball Columnist

It should’ve been an easy victory for the Cats. The first half was played nearly perfectly with the Wildcats leading by 15 at the half. Mississippi State, who looked like a defeated team going into the half, wasn’t ready to give up yet and scrapped their way back into the game.

The Cats were up 18 and looking like they were going to coast to victory, but then the Bulldogs went on a 17-2 run putting it the game in question. Mississippi even pulled within one point with 8:41 left and had the young Wildcats on their heels. The Wildcats, however, rallied and went on a 12 to 3 run of their own and gave themselves some breathing room. MSU still lingered around to the end but were never able to get the lead and the Wildcats won 71-67.

It was another well played night for P.J. Washington as he led all scorers with 23 points in only 24 minutes of play due to foul trouble. Ashton Hagans passed the ball for 9 assists, which was more than the 7 assists that Mississippi State had as a team. Tyler Herro, whom had 12 points, hit a critical three-pointer with the shot clock expiring to help the Cats seal the victory.

It was a perfect learning situation for the Cats today. When you have the other team down big you cannot let up. Calipari often says that he would rather his team learn from a win than a loss and that is what he got today.

The Wildcats host LSU Tigers in their only match-up of the year on Tuesday night at 7 p.m. The game can be viewed on ESPN.

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