It was an outstanding moment for Kentucky basketball freshman Reed Sheppard as he hit the game-winning bucket to put away the Mississippi State Bulldogs Tuesday night, 91-89. He spoke to the media after the game to talk about the contest itself and eventually the buzzer-beater and shot as he went into detail about his thought process.

What will likely be forgotten, but not in the eyes of Sheppard is that right before the notable basket, Bulldogs star Josh Hubbard hit a clutch three-point shot to tie the game originally at 89. Sheppard gave props to his opponent and specifically Hubbard according to Alex Weber of as he scored 34 points, collected four rebounds, and recorded four assists.

“Well, first off, you got to give Hubbard a big — like, he has some big shots down the stretch, you know, all those 3s he hit are really tough shots,” Sheppard said.

Sheppard himself had a great game as he scored 32 points, recorded seven assists, and collected five rebounds, all off the bench. He talked about about the final moments of the game and the decision to go down the lane when he received the basketball in his hands.

“You know, we threw it in real quick, had about eight seconds, DJ (Wagner) was coming down,” Sheppard said. “I trust DJ in what he was going to do and he tried to penetrate and then pitched it back to me and I was able to get in the lane.”

Sheppard credits his Kentucky basketball teammates in motivating him

Kentucky Wildcats guard Reed Sheppard (15) scores on the final shot of the game as Mississippi State Bulldogs forward KeShawn Murphy (12) and guard Josh Hubbard (13) defend during the second half at Humphrey Coliseum.
Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

The freshman himself credited his teammates to the media after the exciting win for “giving me confidence the whole game” after a career night at the collegiate level. The Kentucky basketball team kept telling Sheppard to “lead us” and he did that and much more.

“But you know, a lot of that comes from my teammates and giving me confidence the whole game,” Sheppard said. “They’re telling me, ‘just keep playing, keep attacking,’ like, ‘lead us.’ And you know, that’s huge, and they just kept putting confidence in me the whole game.”

Sheppard hit a shot that every kid into sports, specifically basketball, dreams of hitting when a player has to make the final bucket of the game in hopes of winning. This was actually addressed by Sheppard as the 19-year old said that besides practicing that kind of shot in the driveway, he also “wanted to play at Kentucky” for the Wildcats ever since he was a kid.

“Yeah for sure. You know, that’s what everyone did as a little kid,” Sheppard answered. “I’m sure Adou did it as well. As a little kid, I always wanted to play at Kentucky, so being out there and being able to hit a game when a shot for Kentucky is really special for me.”

There is no doubt that the Kentucky basketball team is on a high as they are now 20-8 on the season and 10-5 in conference play. The No. 16 ranked Wildcats next contest will be against the Arkansas Razorbacks on Saturday, March 2.