FINAL: Kentucky 88, Missouri 66: Recap, analysis, box score

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Kentucky basketball plays Missouri at 8:15 p.m. ET on Saturday, February 24, 2018. Follow along below for the score, live updates and stats from the game.

Kentucky-Missouri score, live updates, stats

FINAL: Kentucky 88, Missouri 66

That’ll do. Six Cats scored in double figures and UK looked sharp offensively and defensively, aggressive on the glass — it all worked. That’s three straight SEC wins over top-50 teams by double digits and suddenly John Calipari has his team trending up as March draws near. The full box score:

Kentucky 78, Missouri 58, 3:59 2H: This is sure starting to look like a team that can do damage in March. The Cats’ finishing five is doing it again. Knox has 21 points, Vanderbilt 8 and 13 boards, SGA 12 and 8 assists, Green 12 points, Washington 11 and 5. (And a bonus 11 points, 3 made 3-pointers from Hamidou Diallo.) What a performance — UK’s third straight eye-opening game.

Kentucky 69, Missouri 47, 7:51 2H: Kevin Knox is clearly not thinking about the Yahoo! report. He’s 6 of 11 from the field, 6 of 6 at the free-throw line and leads the Cats with 19 points. Oh, and Hamidou Diallo is enjoying quite a resurgence. He’s 3 of 3 from 3-point range and just had his first assist since Jan. 30. Slump: busted. Beatdown: in progress.

Kentucky 60, Missouri 42, 11:48 2H: Knox is up to 13 points, Vanderbilt 12 rebounds and Gilgeous-Alexander 7 assists. Everybody is involved and the Cats are ridiculously good tonight. The updated box score:

Kentucky 58, Missouri 41, 15:01 2H: So … the Cats sure do seem to have figured out something. They’re hurtling toward a third straight terrific performance, blitzing the Tigers with really good contributions from SGA (10 points, 6 assists, 3 rebounds), Washington (11 and 3), Green (10 points, 4-4 FG), Vanderbilt (5 points, 11 boards) and Knox (11 points) — even Diallo (8 points, 2-2 threes). Kentucky is shooting 60 percent from the field, 8 of 11 from three and winning 22-14 on the glass. Dominant.

HALFTIME: Kentucky 44, Missouri 32

What distraction? If the Wildcats were bothered by their inclusion in Yahoo! Sports bombshell story this week — tying players to agents but turning up not apparent violations in UK’s internal review — it sure didn’t show in the first half.

And welcome back Hamidou Diallo. Riding a brutal bad streak, he swished a pair of 3-pointers and threw down a monster dunk to finish with 8 points in the half. His second 3-pointer splashed just before intermission.

Also: Jarred Vanderbilt has 10 rebounds in 13 minutes off the bench to Mizzou’s 11 total rebounds as a team. Quade Green poured in 10 first-half points and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander went for 8 points, 4 assists, 3 rebounds and a steal.

Really good half for the Cats, who hit a ridiculous 8 of 10 3-pointers (most made threes in a half this season).

Kentucky 41, Missouri 31, 1:08 1H: Streaky game, and the Cats are on another run, this one 15-5, punctuated by SGA’s lob to Washington for a dunk, Green’s coast-to-coast layup on the break and Diallo’s open-court maneuver to get airborne for a vintage Hami-the-hammer jam. Rupp Arena rocking. Diallo, struggling mightily lately, is having a decent night: 5 points, 1 rebound, 1 steal, 0 turnovers, a made 3-pointer and a monster dunk.

Kentucky 33, Missouri 26, 3:55 1H: Quade Green has given the Cats’ offense a major boost the last three games. Tonight, he’s 3 of 3 from the field, 2 of 2 from 3-point range, and has 8 points, 2 assists, a steal and no turnovers. His dish to Wenyen Gabriel for a 3-pointer made it a 7-0 (and 12-2) run for the Cats. Box score so far:

Kentucky 26, Missouri 24, 7:22 1H: UK scored 11 straight, Mizzou scored 10 straight for an 18-6 lead, and then it became the Shai Gilgeous-Alexander Show: driving bucket for the team’s first 2-pointer of the game after 10-plus minutes, swished 3-pointer to tie it, drive and lob to Vanderbilt, then a dish to Green for a three.

Gilgeous-Alexander is up to 8 points, 3 assists, 2 rebounds and a steal in 10 minutes. And the Wildcats are now 6 of 8 from 3-point range. The Tigers hanging close by hitting 5 of 11 from deep.

Kentucky 16, Missouri 16, 10:45 1H: The Tigers answered UK’s 11-0 run with an 8-0 burst to tie it. Both teams have now made four 3-pointers.

Kentucky 16, Missouri 8, 13:21 1H: Kevin Knox, Quade Green and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander swished consecutive 3-pointers — the Cats are 4 of 5 from deep — as UK rattled off 11 unanswered points and a 14-3 run to seize control.

Kentucky 5, Missouri 5, 15:14 1H: Really strong defense so far by the Cats. The Tigers can hardly get a shot off, passing around the perimeter and jacking a contested 3-pointer almost every possession. They’re 2 for 7 with 2 turnovers early. Kentucky’s offense hasn’t been thing of beauty, but here’s a positive sign: Hamidou Diallo has already backed out of a bad situation and regrouped the offense, then swished a 3-pointer.

Starting Five: Calipari sticking to his guns with the starters — Gilgeous-Alexander, Diallo, Knox, Gabriel and Richards. Despite the fact that Green, Washington and Vanderbilt were part of the finishing five that has dominated the ends of the last two games. Odd choice, but OK.

Knox expected to play: UK announced that it investigated the recent Yahoo! Sports report about college players mingling with unscrupulous agents — a report than named Cats freshman Kevin Knox — and found no NCAA eligibility issues and no evidence of violations of current players or staff members.

Kentucky-Missouri game time, details

  • Time: 8:15 p.m. ET
  • Date: Saturday, February 24, 2018
  • Location: Rupp Arena (23,000), Lexington, Ky.
  • Records: Kentucky 19-9, 8-7 SEC; Missouri 18-10, 8-7 SEC
  • Favorite: Kentucky by 6

What TV channel is Kentucky-Missouri on? 

You can watch Kentucky vs. Missouri on ESPN. Tom Hart and Sean Farnham will be on the call.

How can I watch Kentucky-Missouri online?

Stream Kentucky vs. Missouri online on ESPN3.com and the WatchESPN app.

How can I listen to Kentucky-Missouri on the radio? 

Kentucky and Missouri will be broadcast on the UK Sports Network. That’s 630-AM on Lexington radio and can be streamed at iHeart Radio. You can also listen on XM channel 190 and Sirius channel 137.

Kentucky-Missouri preview

  • So will Michael Porter Jr. play against Kentucky? “I have no idea,” Calipari said. “You know what I know.” What we know is Porter, who played just 2 minutes in Mizzou’s season opener and has sat out since then with a back injury, was cleared for all activity this week and practiced Friday. It seems unlikely he’ll play against the Wildcats, but when asked if Porter would at least suit up Saturday, Tigers coach Cuonzo Martin said, “If it makes him feel good, that’s fine.”
  • A few months ago, Kentucky-Mizzou looked like it would give us two thrilling match-ups between Porter and fellow McDonald’s All-American small forward Kevin Knox, who is averaging 15.4 points and 5.6 rebounds for the Cats. (Knox visited Mizzou with Porter, apparently teasing Tigers fans enough that they booed Knox every time he touched the ball in the Feb. 3 meeting.) But the Yahoo report raises the question of whether Knox will be held out of the game Saturday while UK investigates. Calipari said Friday, though, that he expects Knox to play.
  • While 5-star freshman guard Hamidou Diallo has remained in Kentucky’s starting lineup, his minutes keep dwindling. He played only 15 against Alabama and just 10 in the win at Arkansas. “I want him just to make really easy plays to get himself going — worry about defense, worry about running the stuff we’re trying to run, lose yourself in the team,” Calipari said. “He [practiced] well yesterday. I just told him, I said it again: ‘We need you to be a player for us to do what we’re trying to do.’ “
  • The Cats’ most successful lineup has emerged: Quade Green, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Kevin Knox, PJ Washington and Jarred Vanderbilt. “The two guys that are playing well together are Jarred and PJ. They’re playing well off one another,” Calipari said of the 5-star freshman forwards who have combined for 51 points and 33 rebounds the last two games. “They kind of got a good feel for each other when they’re out on that court together. Quade is playing better, Shai is doing what he does, Kevin Knox is way better. Nick [Richards] and Sacha [Killeya-Jones] are doing good. We need Wenyen [Gabriel to step it up a little bit. He was a little bit better a week or two ago. He’s got to come back to where he was.”

The post FINAL: Kentucky 88, Missouri 66: Recap, analysis, box score appeared first on SEC Country.

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