STARKVILLE — Once the craziness of the final minutes of Kentucky’s 81-75 overtime win over Mississippi State here Tuesday night subsided, the State fans who remained at Humphrey Coliseum gave a slow-but-sure round of applause to their shoulders-slumped players who walked off the floor.

A few minutes later, they drew coach Rick Stansbury’s praise, too, even after an effort that turned out to be a losing one.

“It was an unbelieveable effort by our kids,” Stansbury said. “Kentucky, that’s why they’re Kentucky. That’s why they find ways to be whatever they are, 25-1.”

The second-ranked Wildcats remained on track behind DeMarcus Cousins’ and Patrick Patterson’s 19 points apiece and a 52-35 rebounding margin in the absence of a foul-saddled State star Jarvis Varnado.