No. 12 Kentucky needs OT to give Calipari his 800th win
Kellan Grady scored eight points in overtime, including consecutive 3-pointers about a minute apart, and Sahvir Wheeler added two free throws to lift No. 12 Kentucky over Mississippi State 82-74 on Tuesday night.
Grady finished with 18 points and Oscar Tshiebwe added 21 points with 22 rebounds for Kentucky (16-3, 6-1 Southeastern Conference), giving Wildcats coach John Calipari his 800th career victory - albeit the hard way.
After missing a 3-pointer at the end of regulation, Grady regrouped in the extra session to drive the baseline for a layup before adding 3s with 2:23 and 1:13 remaining for an 80-74 lead.
Wheeler twice made the first of two free throws to extend the lead on the Bulldogs, whose only basket in overtime came from Iverson Molinar, a layup with 2:43 left.
The Wildcats led 53-38 with 12:25 left before the Bulldogs (13-6, 4-3) rallied by holding Kentucky scoreless over four minutes. Molinar scored 22 of his 30 points in the second half to lead Mississippi State.
Mississippi State: Leading rebounder Tolu Smith was out with a knee injury and the Bulldogs had no answer for Tshiebwe inside. Kentucky won the rebounding battle 44-33.
Kentucky: With Washington out, the Wildcats needed a lift from their reserves. Dontaie Allen continued to shine against the Bulldogs, scored on dunk putback and a 3-pointer with 1:29 left in the first half. Bryce Hopkins and Lance Ware also added baskets.
Mississippi State: Hosts No. 13 Texas Tech in the Big 12/SEC Challenge on Saturday.
Kentucky: At No. 5 Kansas on Saturday in the Big 12/SEC Challenge.