STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) - PJ Washington scored 23 points, Keldon Johnson added 13 and No. 5 Kentucky held on to beat Mississippi State 71-67 on Saturday.
Kentucky (20-3, 9-1 Southeastern Conference) has won 10 straight games since losing to Alabama in its conference opener on Jan. 5. The Wildcats had to work for this one after an 18-point lead dwindled to one possession with 1:18 left, but the Bulldogs weren't able to score again.
The Wildcats looked like they might cruise to the win after Washington hit a 3-pointer early in the second half to give them a 49-31 lead. But Mississippi State responded with a huge run to pull within 51-50 on a pair of free throws by Quinndary Weatherspoon with 8:41 left.
After Washington and Ashton Hagans hit back-to-back layups to squash the Bulldogs' momentum, but Weatherspoon made a free throw to cut Kentucky's advantage to 70-67 with 1:18 left.
Mississippi State (16-7, 4-6) led 17-15 midway through the first half, but Tyler Herro nailed a contested 3-pointer to give Kentucky the lead. The Wildcats never trailed again, outscoring the Bulldogs 25-8 over the rest of the first half for a 40-25 halftime advantage.
Lamar Peters led the Bulldogs with 16 points. Weatherspoon added 14.