STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) Reed Sheppard made a runner from just inside the foul line with less than a second left a nd finished with a career-high 32 points, giving No. 16 Kentucky a wild 91-89 victory over Mississippi State on Tuesday night.

Mississippi State’s Josh Hubbard tied it at 89 with 11 seconds remaining by hitting his seventh 3-pointer of the game. Hubbard finished with career bests of seven 3s and 34 points.

Kentucky led 85-78 with 49 seconds to play before Hubbard drained a 3. After Sheppard hit two free throws, Mississippi State’s Cameron Matthews converted a three-point play that cut it to 87-84. The Bulldogs closed within a point after Tolu Smith sank two free throws, before two more by Sheppard with 17 seconds left set up the frantic finish.

Antonio Reeves scored 21 points for Kentucky (20-8, 10-5 SEC). Adou Thiero added 11 points and D.J. Wagner had 10. Kentucky has won 19 straight regular-season meetings with Mississippi State, including four overtime victories.

“He plays to win,” Kentucky coach John Calipari said of Sheppard. “He’s not playing not to lose. And we had to make some 3s to stay in the game. So we were running stuff to make some 3s in the first half to stay in the game. They went zone (in the second half), but we still ran stuff to get off some looks on 3s.”

Kentucky shot 55% from the floor and made 10 of 30 tries from 3-point distance. The Wildcats shot 15 for 17 at the line and committed 10 turnovers.

Mississippi State shot 52% from the field and made 11 of 25 from beyond the arc. The Bulldogs were 12 for 17 at the free-throw line and had 15 turnovers. They also outrebounded Kentucky 34-27.

Smith had 21 points and 10 rebounds for the Bulldogs (19-9, 8-7). Shakeel Moore added 10 points.

“Once we hit a couple of shots to open the second half and got the lead to 13, they subbed pretty quick with those two freshmen (Sheppard and Rob Dillingham),” Mississippi State coach Chris Jans said. “They are two of the most dynamic guards in the nation and they got their pace up. They played with more pace, offensively, and were more determined.

“They got good looks out front, and on ball screens we were not as aggressive for whatever reason. But got to give them a lot of credit. They made a heck of a play and (Sheppard) is like another coach out there. We had the game where we wanted and they flipped the script on us.”

Mississippi State raced to a 14-3 advantage and led the entire first half. Kentucky trimmed the deficit to 32-30 on a layup by Wagner with 4:28 remaining. The Bulldogs closed the half on an 11-5 surge and led 43-35 at the break.

Mississippi State shot 53% in the opening half and went 5 of 9 from behind the arc. The Bulldogs outrebounded Kentucky 20-13, including six offensive boards.

Kentucky shot 48% from the floor in the first half and made 7 of 18 from long distance.


Kentucky: The Wildcats moved within a half-game of South Carolina for fourth place in the SEC and hope to get a double bye in next month’s conference tournament.

Mississippi State: The road gets tougher this week with a trip to No. 11 Auburn on Saturday. The Bulldogs conclude the regular season next week at Texas A&M and at home against South Carolina.


Kentucky: Hosts Arkansas on Saturday.

Mississippi State: At Auburn on Saturday.


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