Kentucky versus Mississippi State: five numbers


Kentucky Wildcats forward Jacob Toppin (0) shoots the ball during the Kentucky vs. Auburn men’s basketball game on Saturday, Jan. 22, 2022, at Auburn Arena in Auburn, Alabama. UK lost 80-71. Photo by Michael Clubb | Staff

Hunter Shelton

Ahead of No. 12 Kentucky’s SEC clash with Mississippi State on Tuesday night, here are five numbers that could dictate the matchup between the Wildcats and Bulldogs.  


Kentucky is just 143rd in the country in steals per game, averaging 7.1 a night. 

When the Wildcats are able to notch just one extra takeaway, they’ve seen their success rate increase. 

The Cats have recorded eight or more steals on 11 occasions in the 2021-22 season, winning nine of those games, with the lone two losses coming on the road in SEC play against LSU and Auburn. 

Mississippi State averages 12 turnovers while Kentucky forces 12.9 per game. 


When Oscar Tshiebwe hauls in 15 or more rebounds for Kentucky, the Wildcats are 7-1. 

With the lone 15-plus board loss coming to Duke inside Madison Square Garden in the regular season opener, Tshiebwe’s dominance on the glass has equaled success for UK. 

Kentucky has out-rebounded Mississippi State 790-677 this season. Tshiebwe’s 14.8 rebounds a night more than doubles the leader for the Bulldogs, Garrison Brooks, who averages 6.5 boards a game. 


One of the lone statistical advantages the Bulldogs will carry with them into Rupp Arena on Tuesday is at the free throw line. 

While both teams shoot 73 percent from the charity stripe, State has cashed in 65 more free throws than the Cats.

The Bulldogs average 20.3 attempts from the line a game, a number that they’ve hit 10 times this season, winning eight of those games. Kentucky allows just 13.8 free throw attempts a contest.


The Bulldogs will enter Rupp Arena shooting 3-pointers at .328 percent clip, good enough for fourth best in the SEC. 

When Mississippi State is hot from deep, however, they have been tough to defeat. 

When making 33 percent of their 3-pointers in a game, the Bulldogs are 9-0. In six SEC games, State has hit the 33 percent mark just one time, defeating Ole Miss 78-60 behind 6-18 shooting from downtown. 


Mississippi State has allowed 80 or more points just three times this season, losing all three of those games. 

Kentucky has hit the 80-point threshold a whopping 11 times this season, going 11-0 in the process. 

The Bulldogs allow just 65.3 points per game while the Cats score 82.3 a night, meaning something has got to give in Rupp Arena on Tuesday night. 

Tip-off between Kentucky and Mississippi State is set for 9 p.m. E.T.