by David Cassilo / @dcassilo

After trailing by 13 points at the half, No. 1 Kentucky used its stifling defense to get past Mississippi State, 73-64. The win was the 19th straight for the Wildcats.

The Bulldogs, playing in front of a raucous home crowd, held a 41-28 edge at the break but started the second half ice cold. It took nearly ten minutes for the team to crack double-digits in the second half, and it finished with just 23 points after intermission.

While the Wildcats were making stops on the defensive side, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was providing the offense. The freshman forward scored 12 of his 18 points in the second half. He also added 10 rebounds for his sixth double-double of the season.

For Kentucky’s head coach, there was never any doubt who would win.

From the Courier-Journal:

“Look, this team has a will to win,” coach John Calipari said. “I told them: If this game’s close, your will to win will take over. Let’s get it close.”

The Wildcats are now three wins away from an undefeated SEC season. They will host Vanderbilt and Georgia before traveling to No. 12 Florida to close the season.