In Progress: No. 3 Kentucky And Mississippi State Face Off In SEC Showdown

Starkville, MS (Sports Network) - John Wall barely missed a triple-double, finishing with 18 points, 10 boards and eight assists, and his three-point play in overtime gave Kentucky the lead for good, as the second-ranked Wildcats overcame Mississippi State, 81-75, at Humphrey Coliseum.

DeMarcus Cousins scored 19 points and pulled down 14 rebounds for Kentucky, which rallied from seven down late in the second half. Patrick Patterson scored 19 and had 10 boards for the Wildcats (25-1, 10-1 SEC), who have won six in a row since falling at South Carolina.

Dee Bost scored 22 for the Bulldogs (18-8, 6-5), who played without leading scorer Ravern Johnson. He was suspended for one game because of an altercation with head coach Rick Stansbury.

Kodi Augustus added 17 points, while Barry Stewart ended with 16 for MSU. Jarvis Varnado scored 10 but fouled out with 5:08 left in regulation, as the Bulldogs failed to build on an overtime win over Auburn on Saturday.

Romero Osby's layup tied the game at 72 for MSU with less than two minutes to go in OT, but Wall hung in the air, got a shot to fall and converted the subsequent free throw with 1:31 remaining.

Osby missed a three-ball at the other end, and Wall's foul shot with 44.6 left made it a four-point margin.

Controversy then ensued, as Wall pinned the ball against the glass on a Bost layup try. MSU's fans called for goaltending, but the whistles remained silent, and a Cousins free throw expanded the lead to 77-72.

Augustus came back with a three-pointer, but Wall went 1-of-2 at the charity stripe with 24.7 seconds left. Bost then lost the ball on a drive into the lane, and Liggins made two free throws to seal the win.

It was an ugly end to the contest, as fans threw full water bottles onto the court, but players and officials weren't hit directly by the debris.

Bost made a pair of free throws with nearly three minutes left in regulation to give the Bulldogs a commanding 67-60 lead, but Liggins canned a three- pointer, and then Eric Bledsoe scored on a fast-break layup after a Patterson block.

Kentucky tied the game at 67 on a Patterson jumper from the right baseline with 39.3 seconds left.

Both teams had a chance to win in the closing seconds of regulation. Stewart launched an air-ball on a three-point try for MSU with 6.2 ticks to go. Liggins was off the mark on a jumper from the right baseline as time expired.

Patterson's jumper moved the Wildcats to a 29-22 lead with nearly four minutes left in the opening half, but MSU got within 32-29 at the break.

A layup from Cousins moved Kentucky to a 56-51 lead with about nine minutes remaining, but the Bulldogs came back with a dominating 16-4 spurt to seemingly take control.

Cousins was dogged by the crowd most of the night. The freshman somehow had his cell phone number circulated among the Mississippi State fan base and he received about 100 prank phone calls and more than 1,000 text messages...MSU had an 11-game home winning streak broken...Kentucky held a 52-35 rebounding advantage...The Wildcats were 4-of-24 from three-point range, while MSU went 10-of-35.

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