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No. 12 Kentucky needs OT to give Calipari his 800th win

GradyMISSSTATE
Michael Clubb/AP
/
FR171824 AP
Kentucky guard Kellan Grady (31) shoots the ball over Mississippi State forward Garrison Brooks (10) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Lexington, Ky., Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2022. (AP Photo/Michael Clubb)



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.

Sahvir Wheeler added 15 points and six assists, and Keion Brooks Jr. added 12 points and six rebounds for Kentucky, which played without guard TyTy Washington Jr. (ankle injury).

BIG PICTURE

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.

UP NEXT

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.