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Howard leads No. 13 Kentucky women past No. 12 MSU in OT

NCAA Womens Basketball: SEC Conference Tournament-Kentucky vs Mississippi State

Mar 7, 2020; Greenville, SC, USA; Kentucky Wildcats guard Rhyne Howard (10) shoots the ball against Mississippi State Bulldogs guard Jordan Danberry (24) during the second half at Bon Secours Wellness Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

STARKVILLE, Miss. — Rhyne Howard scored 10 points in overtime, after scoring 15 points in the fourth quarter, and finished with 33 points, 10 rebounds and six assists to lead No. 13 Kentucky to a 92-86 win over No. 12 Mississippi State on Sunday.

The Wildcats were scoreless and down 82-78 midway through overtime when Howard knocked down a 3-pointer from the right wing. The game was tied at 84 when Howard made a three-point play at the 1:20 mark. The Bulldogs got a quick bucket but in the final minute Dre’Una Edwards and Howard combined to make 5 of 6 free throws.

The biggest lead for either team was six points and there were 14 lead changes and 10 ties.

KeKe McKinney and Chasity Patterson scored 11 points apiece for Kentucky (9-1, 2-0) and Robyn Benton added 10. Edwards grabbed 11 rebounds. The Wildcats made a season-high 14 3-pointers on 28 attempts, shot 49% overall and made 18 of 22 free throws. Kentucky is 24 of 48 behind the arc in the last two games.

Rickea Jackson scored 23 points for the Bulldogs (6-2, 1-1) and Aliyah Matharu added a season-high 19 points off the bench. Jessika Carter had 14 points and 13 rebounds, including a putback and three-point play with 27.4 seconds left in regulation to tie the game at 78. JaMya Mingo-Young scored 12 points. MSU was 7 of 17 from distance, shooting 49% overall but only had 10 free throws, making nine.

Carter’s tying three-point play came after Howard lost the ball. The Wildcats called a timeout after the Bulldogs tied the game but failed to get the ball inbounds within five seconds. However, Jackson’s contested short jumper in the closing seconds bounced off the rim.

This game was moved up from Jan. 24. Kentucky was originally scheduled to play at Tennessee with Vanderbilt at MSU but those two teams have paused basketball activities due to the coronavirus.

Kentucky, coming off a 75-64 win over No. 10 Arkansas on New Year’s Eve, plays at No. 9 Texas A&M on Thursday in the third of four-straight SEC Top 15 battles. Mississippi State is at Florida on Thursday.