LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - Aaron Harrison scored 26 points, including two big free throws with 1:29 remaining in overtime to put Kentucky ahead to stay, and the top-ranked Wildcats withstood three final Mississippi attempts to rally before escaping with an 89-86 victory Tuesday night.
Overwhelming favorites against a Mississippi squad they had beaten 102 times in 115 previous meetings, the Wildcats (14-0, 1-0 SEC) instead survived a back-and-forth battle with the determined Rebels in their Southeastern Conference opener. Especially in OT, as missed free throws down the stretch gave the Rebels chances to either go ahead or tie the game.
Mississippi couldn't take advantage as LaDarius White missed on one possession and the Rebels (9-5, 0-1) lost the ball out of bounds on the next. The Rebels had one last opportunity after Trey Lyles missed two free throws with 15.4 seconds left, but Martavious Newby's 3-pointer bounced high and was grabbed by Willie Cauley-Stein to keep Kentucky unbeaten.