for this game

UK routs Mississippi State to stay unbeaten

Feb 26, 2015 - 4:03 AM Starkville, MS ( - Trey Lyles scored 18 points and the top- ranked Kentucky Wildcats clinched at least a share of the SEC regular-season title with a 74-56 win over the Mississippi State Bulldogs on Wednesday.

"He (Lyles) should have had 25 points today, but I thought he played well," said Kentucky coach John Calipari. "I still think at the end of the day he'll be the X-factor for us."

Aaron Harrison added 16 points for the Wildcats (28-0, 15-0 SEC), who continued their quest for an undefeated season by outscoring Mississippi State 38-29 in the second half.

Devin Booker tallied 14 points and Karl-Anthony Towns contributed 12 points and 10 rebounds for Kentucky, which shot 49.1 percent from the field.

The 28-game winning streak is a personal best for Calipari. He won 27 in a row while coaching Memphis during the 2008-09 season.

Fred Thomas had 14 points for the Bulldogs (12-16, 5-10), who have lost three in a row. Craig Sword ended with 10 points on 2-of-8 shooting.

"Whether they (Kentucky) end up winning a national championship remains to be seen, but as far as a collective group of talent, that's one of the better basketball teams I've ever seen," said Mississippi State coach Rick Ray.

Ahead 12-10, Kentucky created some distance with an 8-0 run. Aaron Harrison and Andrew Harrison made 3-pointers before Lyles' jumper made it a 20-10 contest.

Lyles helped the Wildcats build a 29-15 edge with 5:48 left in the first half. However, Mississippi State responded with a 12-4 surge to get within 33-27.

But Tyler Ulis' 3-pointer at the buzzer gave Kentucky a nine-point lead.

The Bulldogs started the second half on a 10-5 spurt to get within 41-37. But Towns connected on two free throws, Booker made a jumper and Willie Cauley- Stein converted a tip-in to give Kentucky a 47-37 lead.

Mississippi State never got closer than eight the rest of the way.

Game Notes

With 28 consecutive victories to begin the season, Kentucky passed the 1995-96 team for the longest single-season win streak in school history ... Kentucky has won eight straight against Mississippi State ... The Wildcats went 6- of-13 from beyond the arc ... The Bulldogs shot 37.3 percent from the field and went 16-of-27 from the foul line ... Kentucky hosts Arkansas on Saturday, while Mississippi State travels to South Carolina on Saturday.