Fast Break: How Kentucky beat Mississippi State

February 8, 2014 

A quick summary of Kentucky's 69-59 victory over Mississippi State in Starkville on Saturday.

Talking points

If not overly impressive, UK did pick pick up an SEC road win. State started slow and UK jumped out 9-3. Then UK began settling for jumpers and not getting back on defense. State took an 11-9 lead. Coach John Calapari went to his bench often as the State lead became 17-13. UK began to flex its inside muscle, went to a zone defense and got a lift from Jon Hood and Jarrod Polson. Hood's three-pointer made it 30-21 and UK led 32-23 at halftime. UK let State hang around for most of the game and it was 59-52 with 5:31 left. In the end, UK had too much muscle.

Telling numbers

■ State scored three baskets outside the paint, and none the first half.

■ Polson played 30 minutes, Andrew Harrison 15.

■ UK, a team that normally lives at the foul line, took 18 foul shots to 28 for State.

■ It took State 3:54 to score a point and 4:22 to make a field goal.

■ Outside shooting? UK was 3-for-18 on three pointers; State 1-for-8.

■ Ten seconds into the second half, James Young was sitting with three fouls. It was 16 seconds later when Andrew Harrison was doing the same.

■ Hood had played 23 minutes all year. He played 10 in the first half and made his first three-pointer since Nov. 10.

■ Kentucky had zero first-half points off the fast break.

■ State shot 28 percent in the first half and 50 percent in the second half.

■ Andrew Harrison had no points, one assist and two fouls in seven first-half minutes.

Thumbs up

■ Hood not only played but was a key contributor for UK.

■ Dakari Johnson did not miss a shot, scored nine points and had eight rebounds.

Thumbs down

■ The most consistent flaw all season for UK has been transition defense. That did not change against State.

■ Given every opportunity, UK could not bury State.

Herald-Leader Staff Report

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