TAMPA, Fla. -- Jodie Meeks scored 25 points and Patrick Patterson had 15 points and 14 rebounds Thursday to help Kentucky stop a four-game losing streak with a 71-58 victory over Mississippi in the opening round of the Southeastern Conference tournament.
The Wildcats (20-12) advanced to Friday's quarterfinals against LSU (No. 16 ESPN/USA Today, No. 20 AP) and kept alive their hopes of extending their streak of consecutive appearances in the NCAA tournament to 18.Mississippi (16-15) was outscored 35-20 in the second half, when Meeks had 15 points and Kentucky shot 54 percent from the field (14-of-26) and played stifling defense that forced the flustered Rebels into 11 turnovers.Terrico White led Mississippi with 21 points but only had six after halftime. David Huertas came off the bench to score 15 after not starting because of a bone bruise in his left foot.