A tale that’s all too familiar to BBN as of late - Kentucky loses again.
“If you fight, you win,” head coach John Calipari said after the game. That’s not what he saw out of his team, however.
Kentucky (8-15, 7-9 SEC) suffered another disappointing loss Tuesday night to Ole Miss (14-10, 9-8 SEC) 70-62 on the road.
Ole Miss hit their first five shots of the night, setting the tone for a dominant performance for most of the first half on their home court against the Wildcats.
The Rebels implemented a zone scheme after Kentucky cut their lead down to one point. After a timeout, Ole Miss’ defensive prowess proved too much. Kentucky shot the ball 1-11 after the zone was introduced and they stretched their lead by as much as 10.
A Brandon Boston Jr. three-pointer snapped the cold spell and the Cats rallied back to within two points. Quick passes and open shots for Kentucky was a recipe for success in their first half comeback - Kentucky would head into the break down 32-29.
Back and forth we went as the second half began in Oxford. Kentucky leaped out in front for a while behind two three-pointers from Davion Mintz, but a quick run from the Rebels nipped that in the bud as if it never happened.
Exploding in the second half, Sammy Hunter for Ole Miss; he came into the game shooting 14% from deep and buried three of his first four attempts. He only made two three-pointers coming into the game.
The only final four on Kentucky’s mind was the final four minutes of the ball game as the Wildcats found themselves trailing the Rebels by eight with under three minutes remaining.
Panic mode set in for Kentucky as they began to pick up their offensive pace. With under one minute remaining in the game, Kentucky had a chance to bring the game to within one possession, but Sarr’s pick-and-pop three-pointer was too strong, sealing the fate of the game.
Kentucky shot 21-56 (5-20 from three) overall; they also missed 10 free throws (15-25). Ole Miss outrebounded Kentucky 42-28 as well.
Keion Brooks Jr. led Kentucky in scoring with 16 points (8-14 shooting). Sarr (15), Jackson (13) and Mintz (10) all scored in double figures as well.
"Sometimes stuff doesn't go your way," Brooks Jr. said postgame. "But my teammates and I, we continue to fight and we continue to battle so that's what gives me hope going forward."
“It’s just disappointing, but you know what?” Calipari said. “You have to get ready for Saturday.”
Kentucky is set to play their final regular season game this Saturday at home against South Carolina at noon on ESPN.