The Wildcats (16-5, 6-2 Southeastern Conference) kept their poise one game after calling a player-only meeting to discuss the team’s issues away from home. Andrew Harrison’s 3-pointer just 1:42 into the matchup gave the team a lead it wouldn’t relinquish.
Jabari Brown finished with a career-high 33 points and Jordan Clarkson scored 28 to keep Missouri (16-5, 4-4) in the game. Clarkson’s layup with 51.9 seconds remaining narrowed the Tigers’ deficit to 80-77, but Aaron Harrison answered with a layup 30 seconds later to end the threat.
Missouri’s frontcourt offense only mustered three points. The team fell to 43-3 at home under third-year coach Frank Haith, but has lost two of its last four.
Despite the teams combining for 41 fouls and the lack of lead changes, the game carried a frenzied pace as Kentucky tried to pull away early in the second half but couldn’t bury Missouri. The Wildcats led 61-49 with 11:44 remaining before Missouri used a 10-2 run to get back into it.
Kentucky couldn’t contain LSU’s Johnny O’Bryant III on Tuesday, allowing 29 points to the forward in a 87-82 loss. Missouri’s guards caused the trouble Saturday, as Brown and Clarkson combined for 21 of 34 shooting, mostly in the form of layups.
Brown extended his streak of 20-plus performances to six after entering the day as the SEC’s leading scorer with 22.3 points per game.
Kentucky’s Julius Randle scored 18 points on 7 of 13 shooting to help Kentucky finish 30 of 56 from the field. The Wildcats converted eight 3-pointers one game after a making a season-high nine, but Missouri hung around on 27 of 51 overall shooting.