LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) -- Randolph Morris blocked a game-tying shot with five seconds left as Kentucky and Morris survived their worst shooting performances of the season to defeat Mississippi State 64-60 Saturday night.
Morris, whose layup with a minute left put the Wildcats ahead for good, swatted away Jamont Gordon's shot to extend Kentucky's winning streak to 10.The Kentucky center, who was ice cold earlier in the game, finished with 17 points -- seven from the free throw line, including two with 20 seconds remaining. The Wildcats (14-3, 3-0 Southeastern Conference) would need them both because Barry Stewart nailed a 3-pointer with less than 12 seconds remaining.Mississippi State (10-6, 1-2) came just short in its effort to beat Kentucky for the first time in four years and only the second time ever at Rupp Arena -- the previous on Feb. 14, 1995.Until the end, it appeared they might get it.With under five minutes left, Kentucky needed a 3-point play from Derrick Jasper to tie the game at 53. Then, Jasper grabbed his eighth rebound on the defensive glass and fed Morris for a go-ahead layup.But the Kentucky point guard also made a key mistake at the 1:40 mark, letting the shot clock expire before he could get off a 3-point shot.The Bulldogs got the ball back and tied the game at 57 on a tip-in by Charles Rhodes before Kentucky took the lead for good on Morris' layup.Joe Crawford had 14 points, including three 3-pointers, for the Wildcats and Ramel Bradley had 11 -- his 10th straight double-digit scoring effort since moving from point guard to shooting guard.Gordon was the Bulldogs' lone double-digit scorer with 13.Kentucky shot a season-worst 36 percent from the field -- including several ugly misses by Morris early. But he connected on seven of eight free throws and hit the shots from the field down the stretch.Despite getting no offensive rebounds in the first half, Kentucky won the battle of the boards 37-36 over the Bulldogs.The Bulldogs used an 8-0 run to build a first half lead but Kentucky immediately answered with an 11-0 run to pull back in front. Kentucky led 27-26 at halftime, courtesy of two late 3-pointers by Bradley.