No. 5 Kentucky escapes with 71-67 win over Mississippi St

PJ Washington had 23 points Saturday

PJ Washington had 23 points Saturday

That said, the Bulldogs did fall 76-55 to Kentucky the last time these teams met up, so you'll want to take that into account when you look at this game as well.

Then the compliments ended.

"If you want me to tell you everything's all good, it isn't", Calipari said.

That's right. You would have said I was absolutely nuts. Not mean, screaming or cussing. But you would have never had that chance, because I would have never said something so far-fetched, so outlandish. "Well, this is real".

Mississippi State hosts Missouri on Thursday. The Wildcats had to work for this one after an 18-point lead dwindled to one possession with 1:18 left, but the Bulldogs weren't able to score again. Bre'Amber Scott scored 13 points off the bench while Andra Espinoza-Hunter added 11. With the loss, they fell to 15-8 on the year and 4-6 in the SEC, while Mississippi State improved to 22-1 and 10-0- in the SEC. But Mississippi State responded with a huge run to pull within 51-50 on a pair of free throws by Quinndary Weatherspoon with 8:41 left. So far this season, the Bulldogs have lost just twice at home this season, to rival MS, but being able to split this two-game homestand with LSU and Kentucky will be vital to the Bulldogs' at-large hopes.

Mississippi State took advantage of Westbrook's absence.

Tennessee struggled with Mississippi State's combination of size and speed.

"I'm going to keep fighting". The Bulldogs have lost four of their last six.

United Kingdom improved to 253-5 (.981) under Calipari when leading by at least 10 points at any point in the game. The veteran coach made it clear he has high standards. "We've got great point guard play". "He doesn't go get rebounds, doesn't get loose balls, missed one-footers, missed free throws".

"I don't see us getting better". Come out with great energy. When the two teams faced off on January 22, Mississippi State was 14-3, ranked inside the top-25, and a darkhorse candidate to win the SEC.

All totaled, United Kingdom closed the first half with a 25-8 run for a 40-25 advantage at intermission. She is averaging 17.2 ppg and 9.7 rpg in SEC play.

Kentucky began the second half with the same starting lineup.

"They have to stay after it and they have to know they're coming in here with their ears peeled back ready to go", Schaefer said.

Kentucky: The Wildcats' defense has been phenomenal over the past few weeks, but they gave up 42 points in the second half.

The Tennessee Lady Vols will return home for a Valentine's Day match-up, hosting Auburn at 6:00pm CT in Thompson-Boling Arena.

"I'm extremely impressed with how hard they play, how physical they are and how they attack the boards", Schaefer said of Tennessee. The Bulldogs are 4-5 in conference play, last losing to No. 21 LSU in a close 92-88 overtime defeat.

Jordan Danberry joined the list of injuries with her ankle tweak in the first half against Alabama and barely played in the second half of that game. It was the team's fourth-lowest margin of victory in SEC play behind 15 at home vs. Kentucky and SC, and nine at home vs. Georgia. Mississippi State shot only 31 percent from the field and 15 percent from the three-point line.

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