UK was in danger most of the evening, and it looked as if the No. 1 team could suffer loss No. 2. Then, trailing 62-58 with 5:10 left, UK made a statement by closing out the game with a 15-2 run. UK started the game misfiring, and State took a 12-2 lead. UK was impatient and rushing offensively while State hit three early three-pointers. Dee Bost helped stretch the lead to 41-28 at the half. UK's previous biggest deficit of the year was 10. UK came out a different team in the second half, opening with an 11-2 run. UK kept cutting into the lead and took its first lead, 63-62, at 4:11. Darius Miller and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist sparked the comeback.
■ Kentucky opened the game 1-for-11 from the field. UK scored four points in the first 6:48.
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■ State was perfect on seven free throws and 6-for-12 on three-pointers in the first half.
■ Mississippi State had five dunks in the first half. Kentucky had one.
■ UK's bench did not score in the first half.
■ Michael Kidd-Gilchrist came up big on both ends of the court.
■ Darius Miller took 32 minutes to score, but then he put the team on his back with 12 points.
■ Some have wondered whether this team can win without Marquis Teague. Unlike recent games, Teague struggled and UK won without him down the stretch.
■ UK showed little composure offensively against a State team that had struggled defensively.
■ UK has been perhaps the nation's top defensive team for most of the year. That was not the case Saturday against Mississippi or in the first half Tuesday night.