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Coming off the disappointing loss to South Carolina on Saturday night, the Wildcats looked to regain focus tonight against the Mississippi State Bulldogs. The Bulldogs, who won their last two games against Florida and Tennessee, were looking for their first win against a top 25 opponent. Kentucky, however, were not going to drop two games in a row and won 80 to 72.

The Bulldogs never gained the lead the entire game and Wildcats took a 31 to 23 half time lead after a great first half performance by EJ Montgomery. He led Kentucky with 7 points and was tied with Nick Richards with 5 rebounds at halftime. The Cats made 22 of their 31 points from inside of the paint and had 6 assists in the first 20 minutes of play.

After maintaining a double-digit lead for most of the second half, the Wildcats allowed Mississippi State to go on an 8 to 2 run and pull within 6 with 4:36 left in the game. The end of the game was the Immanuel Quickley and Nick Richards time to shine. They combined to score 26 of the last 28 points for the Wildcats and made a combined 27 of 29 from the free-throw line. They ended the Bulldogs hopes for a comeback and gave the Cats an eight-point win.

Nick Richards also set a new career high with 27 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. Immanuel Quickley added 21 points even after going 3 of 11 from the field. Kentucky as a team only made one of the ten three-point shots and only had 4 second-chance points while giving up 22 second-chance points to the Bulldogs.

The win was the 14th straight against Mississippi State and gives Kentucky a 7-2 record in the SEC. The Cats travel to Knoxville to take on the Volunteers on Saturday for a 1 pm tip. The game can be viewed on CBS.

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