- Tuesday, January 15 2008 -
Kentucky - 64 (Head Coach: Billy Gillispie) - [Unranked]
|A. J. Stewart||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||0|
Mississippi State - 69 (Head Coach: Rick Stansbury) - [Unranked]
Halftime Score: Mississippi State 32, Kentucky 27
|Prior Game|||||Next Game|
|Vanderbilt 79 - 73 2 OT|||||Florida 70 - 81 OT|
Game Writeup - Written by Matt May; Courtesy of The Cats Pause, (All Rights Reserved)
Varnado hits Cats
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Short-handed Kentucky turned in a valiant effort but the Jarvis and Jamont Show was too much to overcome as Mississippi State outlasted the Cats 69-64 at Humphrey Coliseum.
Jarvis Varnado turned in the first triple-double by a UK opponent since Dwyane Wade did it for Marquette in the 2003 NCAA Tournament. The sophomore had 10 points, 12 rebounds and 10 blocks, while UK-killer Jamont Gordon turned in 24 points and matched a career-high with five three-pointers.
"Their big guy alters a lot of shots," UK senior Joe Crawford said. "We knew he was a great shot blocker inside but we wanted to continue to attack him. We knew he would block some shots but we didn't know it would be 10. That was the game plan."
UK (7-8, 1-1) rallied from several double-digit deficits in the second half and pulled with two points on a Crawford three-pointer with 7.6 seconds left but State's Barry Stewart made 3-of-4 free throws in the final 5.3 seconds to seal the win.
Ramel Bradley led the Cats with 22 points, his fifth straight game with at least 20 points, making him the first Cat to do that since Jamal Mashburn in 1992-93. Crawford aided his backcourt mate with 20 points and five assists.
Although it was another defeat the Cats made significant progress in their ability to compete on the road after blowout losses at Indiana and Houston.
"Those (losses) were really ugly and we definitely had some distractions to deal with in those games," UK coach Billy Gillispie said. "We fought hard, played together and came up short. A loss is a loss, matter what it looks like and it's not acceptable but we played much harder than we had.
"We're 1-1, that's not getting over the hump for me. We got beat. Our guys are competing harder and I'm very, very proud of their effort but I'm not proud of getting beat and we got beat."
The Cats will get another opportunity to prove their mettle on the road this weekend when they travel to Florida.
Joe Crawford finishes a sick baseline dunk
Ramel Bradley tries to get around MSU's Phil Turner