UK hosts Mississippi in final home game of the season


Kentucky freshman forward Kevin Knox returns to the bench during the game against Missouri on Saturday, February 24, 2018 in Lexington, Ky. The Wildcats won with a final score of 88-66. Photo by Jordan Prather | Staff

AJ Harris

The No. 23 Kentucky basketball team (20-9, 9-7) will look to improve its win streak to four games when the Cats host the Rebels of Ole Miss (12-17, 5-11) on Wednesday at Rupp Arena.

In their last game, the Cats defeated Missouri at Rupp Arena 87-66. Six UK players scored double-digits in that game, and Kevin Knox would lead all UK scorers with 21 points.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander added 14 points and SEC Freshman of the Week Jarred Vanderbilt had a double-double (11 points, 15 rebounds) in the win. Quade Green, PJ Washington and Hamidou Diallo were the other UK players to score in double figures. 

Mississippi is coming off a loss to No. 16 Tennessee at home. Sophomore guard Breein Tyree led Ole Miss with 17 points in the loss. Junior forward Bruce Stevens added 14 points followed by junior guard Terence Davis who tallied 13 points.

That was Ole Miss’ second game without its previous head coach, Andy Kennedy. Kennedy stepped down from the position on Feb. 18, leaving assistant coach Tony Madlock to serve as acting head coach.

Ole Miss is 1-1 with Madlock at the helm, with the Rebels’ lone win coming against Missouri, which was a overtime victory at Mizzou Arena on Feb. 20.

Looking ahead to the matchup against Kentucky, the Rebels will need big performances from their guard play if they hope to pull off the upset. The top three scorers from Ole Miss are all guards, with senior Deandre Burnett leading the way with 14.2 points per game.

Burnett also averages four assists a game, which is tied for sixth most in the SEC. Burnett has 12 games this season in which he’s had at least five assists; however, he recorded zero assists in Ole Miss’ previous game against Tennessee.

That was the second time all season that Burnett went a whole game without recording an assist.

For Kentucky, Knox will need to have a good performance. Knox has averaged 19 points during Kentucky’s three-game win streak and has been the Cats’ leading scorer twice.

UK will also need big games from  Diallo and Washington, as the Cats have shown they play their best basketball when they are playing as a team.

This will be the first matchup between the two teams since last season’s 99-76 victory for Kentucky. Tipoff is at 7 p.m.