The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference
The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference
Rupp Arena - Lexington, KY

No. 20 Kentucky surges past Missouri, 88-54

2558 days ago
Associated Press

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Tyler Ulis scored 20 points, Derek Willis added a career-best 18 and No. 20 Kentucky used an early 20-0 run to blow past outmanned Missouri 88-54 on Wednesday night.

The Wildcats (16-4, 6-2 Southeastern Conference) had it easy in improving to 9-0 against the Tigers and winning their third straight overall. Kentucky spotted the Tigers an opening layup by Wes Clark before the big spurt that quickly put the game out of reach, twice stretching its lead to 40 points in the second half.

Good shooting was the key again for Kentucky, which made 52 percent from the field after hitting 55 percent against Vanderbilt.

Willis also grabbed 12 rebounds for his second double-double in four games. Isaiah Briscoe had 15 points, Skal Labissiere 12 and Jamal Murray 11 to round out Kentucky's double-figure scorers.

Clark had 11 points for Missouri (8-12, 1-6 SEC), which sustained its biggest loss this season.

After Saturday's blowout of Vanderbilt, the Wildcats didn't want to look past a Tigers squad that challenged No. 10 Texas A&M for more than a half before falling 66-53. That was never a problem as Kentucky came away with the tuneup it wanted before Saturday's big test at No. 4 Kansas.

The Wildcats outrebounded Missouri 47-28, including a 32-19 advantage on the defensive glass. They forced 15 turnovers that led to 22 points and held the Tigers to 32 percent shooting.

Kentucky also shot 9 of 20 from 3-point range while limiting Missouri to 4 of 14 from behind the arc.

So much for Missouri's hope of avoiding another drubbing at Rupp Arena after last year's 49-point rout. That quest didn't last long as the Wildcats quickly answered Clark's basket with a blistering surge.

Kentucky's run included three long-range shots by Willis, who made his third straight start. The Wildcats began 8 of 13 from the field and didn't cool off much after that in a 54 percent shooting half set up by sharp passing.

Missouri made just 26 percent from the field in the first half, even lower than its 39 percent average in league play coming in. The Tigers were actually better from long range (38 percent) in the half, none of which mattered in a game Kentucky dominated throughout.


Missouri: Despite the rout, Clark maintained his double-digit scoring average against Kentucky. He averaged 12 points in three previous appearances.

Kentucky: The Wildcats hit nine 3s, their highest total in five games. ... Labissiere scored in double figures for the second time in three games.


Missouri: Hosts Mississippi State on Saturday.

Kentucky: Plays at No. 4 Kansas on Saturday in the Big 12/SEC Challenge.