Feb 22

This Kentucky team is road tough, too

One shot stands between Kentucky and a perfect record with three games remaining in the regular season. Think about that for a second.
If not for Indiana’s last-second 3-pointer that sent the Hoosiers to a 73-72 win over the top-ranked Wildcats on Dec. 10 in Bloomington, Kentucky may be looking at a possible perfect regular season. However, if not for Indiana’s heroics, the Wildcats may not have learned a lesson either.
Regardless, Kentucky is hard to beat at Rupp Arena and is proving to be harder to take down on the road. Mississippi State had Kentucky down by 13 in the first half Tuesday night before the Wildcats stormed back and clinched a share of the Southeastern Conference championship with a 73-64 victory over the Bulldogs in Starkville.
Credit senior Darius Miller for stepping up and making big plays in the second half. Miller finished with 12 points and has connected on back-to-back 3-pointers for the second game in a row to lead the Wildcats (27-1, 13-0 SEC) to their 19th consecutive victory.
“Darius Miller made some big shots,” Kentucky coach John Calipari said afterward. “We made some free throws. We did some stuff down the stretch — we had a couple of good blocks and defensive stops. This was as good an environment that we have played in this year. It was a great environment.”
Miller’s effort drew praise from Mississippi State coach Rick Stansbury.
“Darius Miller is the fiber that holds that team together,” he said. “He is the key to them and was the total difference in the game tonight. He stepped up and made plays when he had to make plays for that team.”
That team has won seven road games in the Southeastern Conference and is on the brink of running the table in the conference. That team has done so with a starting lineup featuring three freshman and two sophomores.

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