No. 23 Kentucky pulls away from Mississippi 96-78
LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Kevin Knox had 22 points and Quade Green added 18, including eight during a 15-5 second-half run that helped No. 23 Kentucky pull away from Mississippi for a 96-78 victory Wednesday night.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had 17 points, Wenyen Gabriel 15 and PJ Washington 10 as the Wildcats (21-9, 10-7 Southeastern Conference) won their third consecutive game and home finale, the first without departing seniors under coach John Calipari. Green had two 3-pointers and a layup during the run that provided an 82-69 lead with 6:40 remaining.
Kentucky shot 56 percent after halftime and 50 percent overall in a game that was chippy at times, resulting in five technical foul calls and the quick ejection of Ole Miss senior forward Marcanvis Hymon after just 3 1/2 minutes.
Terence Davis had 26 points and Breein Tyree and Bruce Stevens 13 each for the Rebels (12-18, 5-12), who lost for the ninth time in 11 games.
Mississippi: Losing Hymon to two quick technicals seemed to inspire the Rebels just as they were about to trail by double digits, responding to outscore the Wildcats 21-12 over 8:06 for a 25-24 lead. Ole Miss got within a basket several times after that but couldn’t catch Kentucky, which strung together baskets and got the rebounds needed to stay ahead and gain some distance late.
Kentucky: The Wildcats took a little longer to get rolling, but their second-half run arrived on time and showcased the things that Calipari has stressed. Besides outrebounding the Rebels 43-35, they shared the ball (19 assists) and knocked down shots resulting from those good looks. The Wildcats also thrived at the line, making 16 of 19 attempts in the first half alone en route to finishing 26 of 35.
Ole Miss hosts Vanderbilt in the regular season finale Saturday night.
Kentucky concludes the regular season on Saturday at Florida, which escaped with a 66-64 upset win at Rupp on Jan. 20.
For more AP college basketball coverage: http://collegebasketball.ap.org and http://twitter.com/AP_Top25