Mizzou (8-5, 0-1 SEC) opened SEC play at No. 17 Kentucky with a,71-59, at Rupp Arena on Saturday afternoon. The Tiger defense held Kentucky to single digits through the first 10 minutes of play, and its lowest first-half scoring output of the year, but couldn’t stop Nick Richards, who led the Wildcats.
The Tigers jumped out to a 17-9 lead, but a 12-0 run by Kentucky (10-3, 1-0) midway through the first half put the Wildcats in front. Kentucky shot 13 more free throws than Mizzou and converted 27-of-30 attempts at the foul line, which proved to be the difference down the stretch. Richards scored 14 of the Wildcats’ first 16 points and had 17 by halftime, including a key 3-point play. Quickley’s 3 put Kentucky (10-3, 1-0) ahead to stay, and he was just getting started. Then Immanuel Quickley was 4 of 8 from behind the arc and 5 of 9 overall. He also went 9 for 9 at the line, part of a 27-for-30 performance for Kentucky as a team. Quickley finished with a career high 23 points. Richards finished with 21 and 12 rebounds along with four blocked shots.
Dru Smith had a team-high 11 points Saturday afternoon. Smith also collected four steals, two assists and three rebounds.
Mizzou returns home to face the Tennessee Volunteers on Tuesday night at Mizzou Arena. Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m. CT and the game will be broadcast on the SEC Network.