No. 12 Kentucky defeats MSU 81-74 in OT

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STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) - DeNesha Stallworth had 16 points and grabbed a career-high 20 rebounds as No. 12 Kentucky avoided the upset with an 81-74 overtime victory Thursday night over Mississippi State.

Kentucky’s Bria Goss twice broke ties in overtime before Kastine Evans scored to give the Wildcats a 73-71 lead with 2:27 to play. Kentucky closed on an 8-3 run to seal it.

The Wildcats (21-7, 9-6 SEC) will clinch a double-bye in the SEC tournament if it defeats Vanderbilt on Sunday.

Jerica James’ trey capped a 23-9 run to give Mississippi State a 66-64 lead with 1:19 to play in regulation. Goss split a pair of free throws to pull the Wildcats within 66-65 with 49 seconds left. With a second remaining, Kentucky’s Samarie Walker missed her first free throw, but nailed the second to send it into overtime.

Martha Alwal had 12 points and 16 boards for Mississippi State (18-11, 5-10).

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