The game was not among the prettiest of affairs in the history of Memorial Coliseum, but Kentucky was once again able to come away victorious as they defeated Missouri 61-55.
Despite the Tigers taking a 53-50 lead with 3:30 to go in the game and UK hitting just one of their last nine field goals, they finished on a 11-2 run to win their second consecutive conference outing and bump their record to 13-4 on the season.
In fact, Missouri’s brief lead in the fourth quarter was really the only time they spent ahead, as UK led for over 34 minutes of game time. The Cats struggled from the field, shooting 37% from the floor, but they were helped by another magnificent performance from junior guard Rhyne Howard, who led the team with 22 points on 7/15 shooting from the floor and 7/8 from free throw line along with 10 rebounds.
Defensively, Kentucky was fantastic on the perimeter, forcing 13 turnovers (scored 19 points off them) and holding Mizzou to 1/18 shooting from the three-point line. Interior defense was another story, however, as Missouri forward Ladazhia Williams finished with 23 points on 10/13 shooting from the floor. After scoring 18 points in the first half, Missouri put up 21 in the third quarter by forcing the ball in the paint to Williams, which allowed them to come back and even take the lead for a brief stint.
With all that said, UK was able overcome Williams’ valiant effort and make the plays needed in order to win.