Sometimes you need to look beyond the usual suspects.

With his team as listless as a tortoise in molasses Saturday afternoon, coach John Calipari went deep into his bench. Little-used reserves Jon Hood and Jarrod Polson helped the foul-plagued University of Kentucky men’s basketball team escape with a 69-59 victory at Mississippi State.

It was only the fourth victory away from Rupp Arena for the Wildcats.

Polson played a season-high 30 minutes, including the final 5:31 after point guard Andrew Harrison fouled out. Hood also played a season-high in minutes (13) and the Wildcats were plus-13 when he was on the court in the first half. UK finished the half on a 19-6 run to take a 32-23 halftime lead.

Julius Randle had 16 points and seven rebounds and James Young added 11 points. They were the only players to score in double figures for 18th-ranked UK (18-5, 8-2 Southeastern Conference).

Mississippi State (13-10, 3-7) hung around because of the Wildcats’ foul trouble, going 22 of 28 at the free-throw line; UK was 12 for 18.

“Today, the only time we could play hard (was) when I put Hood and Jarrod Polson in the game,” Calipari said. “I thought Dakari (Johnson) fought. I thought the rest of us kind of went through the motions of playing, and I just don’t get it. But that’s what happens when you’re a young team.”

Mississippi State was up 17-13 when Hood, who had played a total of just 23 minutes this season, entered the game. Andrew Harrison picked up his second foul and was pulled with 11 minutes left in the half. Young exited with his second foul a minute later.

Hood seemed to spark something in the Wildcats, because they played their best basketball with him on the floor. They took the lead for good on a pair of free throws from Alex Poythress with 6:38 left in the half, and Hood’s 3-pointer — his only basket — put UK up 30-21.

“I’m always ready to play,” Hood said. “I just waited for an opportunity. Today, I made the most out of that. I try to come in and bring some enthusiasm. Jarrod did a good job. We just played well.”