Kentucky Blasts Missouri, 87-66
LEXINGTON, Ky (WTVQ) – LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) – Kevin Knox had 21 points, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander added 14 and Kentucky made 10 3-pointers and shot 55 percent to blow out Missouri 87-66 on Saturday night.
The Wildcats (20-9, 9-7 Southeastern Conference) outscored the Tigers 16-6 over the final 4 1/2 minutes before halftime for a 44-32 lead. Several more spurts stretched the advantage to as many as 25 as they avenged a 69-60 loss three weeks ago.
Knox, a freshman forward who was mentioned Friday in a Yahoo! Sports story as having had a meal with an agent, started after an internal review determined there were no eligibility issues. He made 6 of 13 from the field, all eight free throws and one of Kentucky’s 3s in a game that initially seemed destined to be decided from outside.
Quade Green and PJ Washington each added 12 points, Jarred Vanderbilt had a career-high 15 rebounds and 11 points, while Hamidou Diallo made three 3s for 11 points as six Wildcats scored in double figures. Kentucky was 10 of 16 from long range and shot above 50 percent for the first time since Jan. 13 at Vanderbilt.
Kassius Robertson had 26 points including six 3s, and Jordan Barnett had 11 points for Missouri (18-11, 8-8), which made 10 of 31 from long but shot 36 percent in losing its third in a row.
Missouri: The Tigers started with promise offensively, especially from outside, before cooling off. Failing to contain Kentucky as well from the perimeter hurt the most, not to mention getting beat 36-31 on the glass.
Kentucky: The Wildcats followed up their impressive victory at Arkansas by doing many things right, especially with 27 defensive rebounds. Long-range shots got them going offensively and led to frequent chances at the foul line, where they made 21 of 28 free throws. They also shared the ball well with 17 assists, while their bench dominated 38-15.
Missouri visits Vanderbilt Tuesday in the season’s lone meeting between the schools.
Kentucky hosts Mississippi on Wednesday, seeking its ninth straight series win against the Rebels.