Columbia, – MO.
The Kentucky Wildcats won their 5th game in a row Tuesday by beating the Missouri Tigers 72-62 in a close game in Columbia. The Cats came in riding a 4 game winning streak with a record of 22-5 on the year while Missouri brought a 7-19 record to the game.
Coach Calipari started the game with the usual lineup of Briscoe, Fox, Monk, Gabriel, and Adebayo. Talent wise, Kentucky had this one won. Hustle wise, Missouri kept what should have been a blowout, close for most of the game. Missouri scored the first two baskets of the game and it was obvious that the Tigers came to play. Kentucky’s Malik Monk quickly scored a 3 pointer with 18:51 on the clock to bring the score 4-3. That marked Kentucky’s 1,003rd consecutive game with a 3-point field goal made. The first half was back and forth with Missouri only leading by as many as 4 and Kentucky only leading by as many as 5. Going into the break, Kentucky led 31-30.
In the second half, Kentucky scored the first 3 field goals to pull out to a 37-31 lead with 17:28 to play. Missouri battled back and used a 6-0 run in only 45 seconds to tie the game at 52 with 7:45 to play. That’s when Bam Adebayo was fouled while making a basket, and finished at the line for a 3-point play. Kentucky took the lead 55-52 and never looked back. That started a 20-10 run for the Cats and the game ended 72-62.
UK shot 46.2% from the field improving their mark to 23-1 this season when shooting at least 42%. Kentucky also won the rebounding battle for the 5th straight game (44-31) improving its record to 19-3 when outrebounding its opponents. UK did tie a season high (17) turnovers against Missouri. The other game that UK had that many turnovers came against Kansas in the loss in Rupp Arena.
Kentucky’s Bam Adebayo led the way with 22 points and a career high 15 rebounds and 3 blocks for the Cats. This was Bam’s first 20-point and 10 rebound game of his career. It was also his fourth double-double of the year. Bam has grabbled at least seven rebounds in his last six games.
De’Arron Fox ended the game with 13 points and added 5 rebounds and 4 assists. Freshman Malik Monk scored 11 points continuing his double figure scoring in every game this season.
Kentucky plays its next two games at home with the first coming Saturday when the Cats host the Florida Gators to try and avenge the 22 point loss to the Gators at the Swamp. Look for the Cats to be hungry and get off to a great start early in the game to try and put the Gators away early. Tipoff is set for 2:00 p.m. and will be televised nationally on CBS.