UK sweeps Missouri with road victory



By Kyle Arensdorf

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On Jan. 13, Missouri played in Rupp Arena and suffered a 49-point loss, the second-largest loss by a UK opponent all year.

It was a slightly different story in Columbia, Mo., on Friday, but a similar ending as the Tigers fell to the Cats 69-53.

Sophomore guard Andrew Harrison drove the lane on the first possession of the night, kicked the ball to a wide-open Dominique Hawkins, and the Cats were off.

In fact, Missouri didn’t score its first point until less than four minutes in.

But the Tigers made a few runs, and even held a lead with more than nine minutes left in the first half.

UK didn’t mask its offensive game plan early, dumping it into the post to freshman forward Karl-Anthony Towns.

Despite starting 1-for-5 from the field, Towns put the Cats on top of Missouri at halftime, 34-25 with a post move to the baseline and then a floater over Missouri’s Ryan Rosburg.

According to UK head coach John Calipari, Towns played the best he’s had in the post all season in the first half.

The Cats came out of halftime in a fog and didn’t make a field goal for the first five minutes of play.

Points were abundant at the free throw line early in the second half, however, as both teams were in the bonus with 15 minutes remaining in the game.

Harrison used the tight officiating as an opportunity to take the game over.

In just 15 second-half minutes, he scored 10 of his 15 points, including seven straight points when the Tigers had cut the UK lead to single digits.

Harrison finished the game with 15 points on only 3-of-4 shooting, scoring nine of his points at the free throw line.

Thursday also marked the first time that Harrison scored more than two field goals in a game since Dec. 20 against UCLA.

By the halfway mark of the second half, the game had gotten out of hand.

Freshman guard Devin Booker, whose dad was a star for Missouri, was booed by the crowd every time he touched the ball.

Whether it affected him or not, the three-time reigning SEC Freshman of the Week had an average game by his standards, scoring only nine points on 3-of-7 shooting.

The Cats will attempt to make it to 21-0 on Saturday against Alabama, which UK beat by 22 points in Tuscaloosa, Ala., on Jan. 17.