Playing without Terrence Clark (injury) and Jacob Toppin (illness), the Wildcats battled back from a 13-point halftime deficit to cut the lead to one as BJ Boston nailed a three-pointer to cut the lead to 43-42 with 14:40 left in the game.
However, Kentucky found itself in another offensive drought, scoring just five points over the final four minutes to lose for the 11th time this season. Missouri, ranked 303rd in three-point accuracy, scorched the nets in the first half from deep, shooting 7-for-11 (64%) from behind the arm to control the opening frame.
Davion Mintz led Kentucky in scoring with 18 points. Keion Brooks and BJ Boston added 10 points each, while Olivier Sarr just missed double-figures with nine points. Isaiah Jackson and Lance Ware both chipped in with eight points and each grabbed a team-high 10 rebounds. Kentucky finished 9-of-20 (45%) from three-point range.
At this point in the season, Davion Mintz looks to be Kentucky’s most confident offensive player, connecting on back-to-back three pointers to pull the Cats within two at the 10:34 mark as Missouri held on to a 53-51 lead. He also had a steal and break away dunk to get things close with 4:56 remaining as the Tigers led by three (68-65) to set up the final five minutes of action.
Keion Brooks also showed promise early, scoring eight of his 10 points in the first-half. Lance Ware gets special mention here as the Most Improved Player as the freshman showed great fight on the boards and showed the ability to score in the paint.
Kentucky falls to 5-11 (4-5) and plays host to No. 11th-ranked Tennessee on Saturday night at Rupp Arena.