NCAA BK

Tue, Feb 4, 2014 - 7:00 PM ET
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Mississippi-Kentucky Preview

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While it has endured some recent struggles on the road, inexperienced Kentucky has had considerably fewer issues in Rupp Arena.

The 18th-ranked Wildcats will try to extend a 21-game home win streak and earn another decisive SEC victory there Tuesday night against Mississippi.

Kentucky coach John Calipari has said this season's squad is the youngest he's ever coached, so he is focusing on the level of play instead of strictly results. His players, though, were not pleased with losing its last two road games - including 87-82 to LSU last Tuesday - and held a meeting before Saturday's visit to Missouri.

The Wildcats (16-5, 6-2) bounced back with an 84-79 victory with Aaron Harrison's 21 points leading the way. Fellow freshmen James Young had 20 and Julius Randle scored 18.

"Any win is a big win," said Randle, held to a career-low six points at LSU. "We can't take anybody for granted. We knew after the LSU game we had to come back strong and we had to come back more prepared."

Kentucky has claimed 12 of its 21 straight home wins in SEC play and has earned its 13 victories at Rupp this season by an average of 20.1 points. The Wildcats have beaten their four SEC visitors by an average of 18.0.

That doesn't bode well for Ole Miss, which is 4-3 on the road and has lost 19 straight away from home against Top 25 foes since beating No. 23 LSU on Jan. 18, 2003.

The Rebels did take then-No. 13 Oregon to overtime in their only other matchup with a ranked team this season but suffered a 115-105 home loss Dec. 8.

Ole Miss (15-6, 6-2) enters this game tied for second in the SEC with Kentucky after winning five of six. The Rebels bounced back from an 86-70 loss at Tennessee on Wednesday by rallying for a 75-71 home victory over South Carolina on Saturday.

Ole Miss trailed by 15 with 10:53 remaining but outscored the Gamecocks 29-10 after that. Jarvis Summers had eight of the Rebels' final 11 points and Marshall Henderson scored a team-best 21.

"We grew up today," guard LaDarius White said. "I'm just speechless right now. I feel like if this had happened last year or the year before, we would have fell short, but this team has a bond that can't be broken. We stuck by each other."

Kentucky nearly blew a 17-point lead in last season's lone matchup with Ole Miss on before coming away with an 87-74 road win over the 16th-ranked Rebels.

Alex Poythress is the only current Kentucky player who scored in double figures in that game (15 points). White had a team-best 22 points for Ole Miss, and Henderson scored 21 despite missing 14 of 19 shots and nine of 11 from 3-point range.

Henderson is averaging 19.2 points and his 77 3-pointers lead the SEC, but so do his 212 attempts - Young is second with 146. Ole Miss is 1-3 this season when Henderson tries more than 13 3-pointers.

Kentucky has won three straight in the series and 100 of 113 all-time meetings. The Wildcats are 50-2 at home against the Rebels, including seven wins in a row since a 73-64 loss Feb. 14, 1998.

Tagged: LSU, Kentucky, Mississippi, Marshall Henderson

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