"I think I was just going too fast," said Meeks, who had his sixth straight game in double figures with 14 points. "I guess that stuff happens, but there was no excuse. I missed a layup. I would expect to make that 99 out of 100 times, or maybe 100 out of 100. It was all my fault."
Kentucky trailed 83-82 and had the ball with 24.7 seconds to play. Joe Crawford, who ran the point for the Wildcats the final 12 minutes with Ramel Bradley and Derrick Jasper both on the bench with four fouls, drove inside only to have his shot blocked by Richard Delk.
State played great defense
Crawford had been able to take State's Barry Stewart inside for several easy scores, but after Delk took over the defense on him, Crawford had more trouble scoring.
"I was just looking at the clock. It was running down. I was looking to just drive and hopefully draw some contact and get a foul call," Crawford said. "But they played great defense, and they recovered and got their hand on the ball. That was my fault for not doing a better job of getting a shot I could make."
Still, the Cats had one more chance to win the game or force a second overtime after Barry Stewart missed one free throw and made one with 3.7 seconds left to make it 84-82.
UK called its final timeout after throwing the ball to midcourt. However, the pass from Bobby Perry to Crawford was deflected to give State the win.
The play was designed to throw the ball inside to center Randolph Morris, who had a dominant game with 29 points, 15 rebounds and three blocked shots.
"Our plan was to switch all screens in that last situation. They never got the look they wanted," Mississippi State coach Rick Stansbury said. "We thought they might go to Morris."
No other options
Smith credited Mississippi State for giving Perry no option other than try to pass to Crawford, who had set a screen and was supposed to come back for the ball.
"The kid got a piece of it and just deflected it, which was a great play," Smith said. "And that's all you had to do and then go get it, because the clock starts as soon as you touch it.
"But that's what we're trying to do. First throw it at the basket, step for a jump shot or maybe get it off as quick as we could and get a second shot."
Crawford said State's physical play prevented Morris from getting the ball.
"I should have come and met the ball better instead of waiting for it. I had plenty of time to catch it and make a shot," Crawford said. "That was my fault for not making sure I got the ball first instead of thinking about the shot."