That was a very good half of basketball by Kentucky, and in a very tough environment The Wildcats served up some very decent defense in the first half against a tough and experience Missouri team who can really shoot the ball. Free throw shooting is what is keeping the Tigers in the game, and hurting Kentucky a bit.
What I liked about that half is that UK attacked from the wings. That's what this team does, and that's who they are. We didn't see a lot of threes go up against the Missouri zone, and the Wildcats did a very good job of locating good shots in the paint.
Kentucky did a very decent job, and a very poor job, at times in the zone. I think they need to practice this defense more, because it can force teams deeper into possessions. I don't think UK should supplant the man-to-man with it, but occasional zones did seem to affect Missouri's offense in a negative way.
Half time stats
Halftime box score from UK-Missouri: pic.twitter.com/ZPRQU2b0VV— Kentucky Athletics (@UKAthleticsNews) February 1, 2014
In the second half, Kentucky must do a better job of avoiding fouls and sending Missouri to the line. That's a good way to make them extremely efficient, because they are one of the best teams in the league from there. Kentucky is doing a good job of keeping Mizzou from putting up a lot of threes, which is crucial. Missouri is making the ones they take, but you'd rather have Missouri shooting 2's than 3's.
If we could put another half of good basketball on top of this one, it would easily be the best game we have played all season.