The Missouri Tigers (16-4, 5-4 SEC) fell short in a hard fought effort against the Kentucky Wildcats, 84-79. This is only the second time all season that Mizzou has lost at home, moving their home court record to 10-2.
MIZZOU: Jabari Brown- 33 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists
KENTUCKY: Aaron Harrison- 21 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist
Kentucky decided to show up today, holding off Missouri to move to 16-4 and 6-2 in the SEC. Jabari Brown put forth a career high, 33 points followed closely by Jordan Clarkson‘s 28 points but it wasn’t enough in a hard fought effort from Mizzou.
Kentucky looked as if they were going to run the tigers off the court when they had a 61-49 lead with 11:44 remaining. Missouri then got motivated putting forth a 10-2 run that closed the gap to within 4 and getting the tigers back into the game. There isn’t enough that can be said about the performance that Jabari Brown put on today. He’s now scored at least 20 points in six straight games for the tigers.
Again, Missouri had no presence in the front court, only scoring three points from them. Kentucky, however, maximized the talent they have down low, Julius Randle in particular. Randle scored 18 points and had 9 rebounds, ultimately being the difference in the game. The tigers struggled to defend Randle and get offensive boards. Missouri coach, Frank Haith, tried to find an answer late, putting Tony Criswell in to defend, but there was no answer.
Missouri is going to struggle when they have to face better players in opposing front courts. The tigers had a great opportunity in front of them today, but couldn’t get it done. They brought the game to within three several times, but that was the closest they could get. Hopefully coach Haith can get something figured out for the post defense, otherwise tournament hopes will start dwindling away fast.
The tigers travel to Gainesville, Florida to take on the #3 ranked Gators on Tuesday night. It’s going to take an exceptional effort for Missouri to get that win.