Wall helps Kentucky snap losing streak to Mississippi St.
STARKVILLE, Miss. — John Wall scored 18 points, including five in overtime, and came within two assists of a triple-double to lead No. 2 Kentucky to an 81-75 victory over Mississippi State on Tuesday night.
Wall’s three-point play opened the scoring in overtime, then he added two free throws and blocked Dee Bost’s layup attempt with 36 seconds left to push the Wildcats (25-1, 10-1 Southeastern Conference) to their sixth straight win and snap a three-game losing streak to the Bulldogs (18-8, 6-5).
DeMarcus Cousins and Patrick Patterson both scored 19 points. Wall had 10 rebounds and eight assists. Cousins had 14 rebounds.
Kentucky trailed 67-60 with 3 minutes left, but scored the final seven points of regulation, the last two on Patterson’s 15-foot jumper that tied it at 72.
Bost scored 22 points for Mississippi State, which was without suspended leading scorer Ravern Johnson.
The final minute of the game was marred when fans in the student section of a the record crowd of 10,788 threw bottles onto the court, almost hitting official Mike Kitts and coming close to Wall as he stood near the Kentucky bench.
“We made plays. We made shots. We made blocks. We did enough to win the game and now we’re going to get out of here,” Kentucky coach John Calipari said.
Mississippi State used a 13-2 run to take its biggest lead, 67-60, with 3 minutes left. Jarvis Varnado, one of the nation’s leading shot blockers, fouled out midway through the run at 5:08, but that didn’t seem to slow down the Bulldogs. They outscored the Wildcats 6-2 over the next 2 minutes before Kentucky clamped down.