After a slow first quarter, Vic Schaefer made it clear.
“They’re playing harder than we are,” he said after his team trailed Kentucky 23-22 at the end of the first quarter.
After that, the top-seeded Bulldogs turned things up to rout the Wildcats for a third time this season, picking up an 81-58 victory to open their SEC tournament run.
Roshunda Johnson led the team with 20 points, as four Bulldogs made it into double figures. The team shot 47.6 percent from three-point range.
Mississippi State will face Texas A&M in the tournament semifinals on March 3 at 4 p.m.