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Randle leads Kentucky past Mississippi State

Starkville, MS (SportsNetwork.com) - Julius Randle scored 16 points and No. 18 Kentucky went into Humphrey Coliseum and took down Mississippi State, 69-59, in an SEC bout on Saturday.

James Young added 11 points while Aaron Harrison filled it up with nine, six rebounds and six assists for Kentucky (18-5, 8-2 SEC), which has won three straight overall and six of seven. Dakari Johnson had nine points with a game- high eight rebounds.

"I thought Dakari fought, but I thought the rest of us just went through the motions of playing," Kentucky head coach John Calipari said. "I just don't get it. But that's what happens when you're a young team."

Craig Sword, Gavin Ware and Trivante Bloodman all netted 12 points in Mississippi State's (13-10, 3-7) fifth straight loss. Roquez Johnson added 10 points off the bench.

Kentucky scored the first six points of the contest and led 9-3 after a Young trey, but the Bulldogs used a 14-4 run midway through the period to climb in front, 17-13.

It was 19-all at 7:33 when MSU went cold from the floor, mustering just a pair of Roquez Johnson layups over the final portion of the first half. Kentucky took advantage of the drought and led 32-23 at intermission.

Colin Borchert's 3-pointer 2 1/2 minutes into the second trimmed MSU's deficit to 37-31 but UK responded with a Randle layup and Jarrod Polson jumper to restore its double digit advantage.

The Bulldogs never really threatened after that, getting to within six again minutes later before a quick Wildcats answer halted any thoughts of a comeback. The lead hovered between 12 and seven over the final 10 minutes.

"In the first half our defense was sharp and composed," Ware said. "In the second half I thought we had some loose ends."

Game Notes

Kentucky has won seven straight in the series ... Mississippi State is stuck at 399 wins at Humphrey Coliseum ... Neither team shot it well from distance, with Kentucky going 3-of-18 from 3-point range and MSU hitting just 1-of-8.

02/08 20:27:59 ET


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