Bulldogs fall to Wildcats on the road

Mississippi State's Robert Woodard goes up for a shot against Kentucky.

For Starkville Daily News

A tough shooting night was difficult to overcome for No. 22 Mississippi State as the Bulldogs were handed a 76-55 defeat by No. 8 Kentucky in Southeastern Conference action on Tuesday night at Rupp Arena.

Mississippi State (14-4, 2-3 SEC) was limited to season-lows of 19 field goals made and a 31.1 shooting percentage. The Wildcats (15-3, 5-1 SEC) bookended the game with an 18-2 run early during the first half and closed the contest with 27 of the game’s last 39 points.

“I thought Kentucky was really impressive (Tuesday night)," State coach Ben Howland said. "Facing them here, I liked their defense in particular, they really caused us a lot of problems. They forced us nine turnovers in the first half, although two or three of those were ones where we shot our self in the foot. I thought they had us playing fast and had us playing to where we were in a hurry rather than being in control offensively in the first half. We were probably fortunate to only be down eight, and I thought we did a great job battling back. It was 41-39, and they called a timeout. We had some momentum at that point. Right away, they came out and really executed well on both ends of the floor. We were in about six or seven minute stretch where we were scored four points. We really struggled tonight offensively and give them credit with their defense.”

Kentucky captured its 12th consecutive victory in the series dating back to the 2008-09 season. A key stat for the Wildcats was an 8-for-16 effort from three-point territory compared to a 3-of-20 mark for MSU.

Quinndary Weatherspoon dropped in 11 of his team-leading 19 points during the second half and grabbed five rebounds, while Tyson Carter tacked on 11 points and two steals off the bench.

Reggie Perry and Nick Weatherspoon collected eight points apiece. Perry hauled down eight rebounds whereas Weatherspoon handed out a pair of assists.

Robert Woodard II cleaned the glass with a career-best 13 rebounds, the most for a MSU player in a single game this season. Lamar Peters came away with five points, three assists and two steals. The Bulldogs edged out Kentucky by a 20-18 margin in bench points.

Aric Holman and Abdul Ado were held scoreless and attempted just two shots. Holman garnered two blocks to move past Kalpatrick Wells (1980-81-82-83) for the No. 4 spot on the program’s all-time list.