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Links from last night: Reflecting on the comeback

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Terrence Jones and Anthony Davis helped UK overcome a 13-point deficit and defeat Mississippi State on Tuesday night. (Victoria Graff Photography) Terrence Jones and Anthony Davis helped UK overcome a 13-point deficit and defeat Mississippi State on Tuesday night. (Victoria Graff Photography)
If you missed it late last night, here's my recap of Kentucky's 73-64 comeback victory over Mississippi State written from Lexington. Since I didn't make the trip though, I figured I would point you in the direction of some of the perspectives from writers that were in attendance.

Let's get to the links:

Miller makes Mississippi statement (Eric Lindsey, CoachCal.com)

If Kentucky ends up winning the national championship this year - and those chances are looking better and better every day - this might be the classic moment that everyone looks back to, the defining game that underscores an unbelievable season.

And should UK cut down the nets in April, this might be the senior moment that forever etches Darius Miller, a Kentucky native and fan favorite, into program lore.

Top-ranked Kentucky, led by a senior who has grown a reputation for stepping up when the game is on the line, survived its biggest scare since its buzzer-beating loss at Indiana with a thrilling, statement-making 73-64 at Mississippi State on Tuesday night in Starkville, Miss.
UK survives scare from Mississippi St., wins 73-64 (Kyle Tucker, Louisville Courier-Journal)

"Look, this team has a will to win," coach John Calipari said. "I told them: If this game's close, your will to win will take over. Let's get it close."

UK did better than that. It still hasn't fallen since a Dec. 10 defeat at Indiana, which was the only other time this season the Wildcats trailed by double digits. Senior Darius Miller helped Kentucky avoid a repeat of that outcome by scoring all 12 of his points after halftime, including nine in the final six minutes.

"Darius Miller, he's the fiber that holds that whole team together," Mississippi State coach Rick Stansbury said.
Cats overcome 13-point deficit to beat Bulldogs (Brett Dawson, CatsIllustrated.com)

UK opened the half on a 13-4 run capped by an Anthony Davis dunk with 13:54 to play that pulled the Cats to within four, 45-41. Terrence Jones' layup with 7:20 remaining cut the Bulldogs' lead to 55-53, the closest the Cats had been since the opening minutes.

But there was one more test left for the Cats' resolve.

The Bulldogs reeled off five quick points - a putback dunk by Arnett Moultrie and a deep three from Bost - to stretch the lead back to 60-53 with 6:28 remaining.
Mississippi State scored four points the rest of the way. Miller had nine by himself.
Kidd-Gilchrist's defense helps Kentucky rally past Mississippi State (Jerry Tipton, Lexington Herald-Leader)

With Kidd-Gilchrist stifling Dee Bost, UK rode a 15-2 run down the stretch to its 27th victory in 28 games.

Bost, who torched UK for 16 first-half points, made only one of six second-half shots and finished with 21. But his impact diminished greatly as the Cats chipped away.

"I was thinking of starting the game that way," Calipari said of Kidd-Gilchrist on Bost. "Obviously, I made a mistake not starting that way. ... Dee carried them."
Kentucky shows fortitude in full (Matt May, CatsPause.com)

To hear Stansbury tell it, the injury to Bulldogs' freshman guard Rodney Hood late in the first half was the beginning of UK's comeback - "A huge, huge, huge blow for us" the coach said - but this was more about Kentucky's defense down the stretch. Ask Vanderbilt how that worked out for them. The Cats forced Mississippi State into missing five of its final six shots in the last five minutes, turning those misses into points on the other end on nine of the Cats' final 10 possessions. When Jalen Steele was whistled for fouling Miller on the elbow on a three-pointer with 6:17 remaining, the Cats' comeback was on and State never recovered.
No. 1 Cats claw back (Brandon Marcello, Clarion Ledger)

Kentucky has delivered heartbreak to Mississippi State so many times over the years.

On Tuesday night, Darius Miller drilled a stake in the Bulldogs' heart.

The Kentucky senior nailed a 3-pointer from NBA range on the left side of the key with 1:28 remaining, extending the Wildcats' lead to seven points and the nation's No. 1 team cruised in the final minute to a 73-64 win in front of an announced crowd of 10,213 at Humphrey Coliseum.

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1 Comment

I live in Indiana and im a Kentucky Wildcat fan. People at my school were saying did you see kentucky almost lose lat night. Then i said but did they lose the whole starting line up are goons. Anthony Davis and Darius Miller were on fire. Terrence Jones and Lamb were doing mazing too. I am your number one fan i promise. Keep up the good work Wildcats. NCAA turny here we come

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  • chris vanover: I live in Indiana and im a Kentucky Wildcat fan. People at my school were saying did you see kentucky read more
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