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Mizzou falls to No. 6 Kentucky in Lexington 90-77

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Rob Dillingham scored 23 points off the bench, Tre Mitchell had 20 points and a season-high 14 rebounds, and No. 6 Kentucky beat Missouri 90-77 on Tuesday night for its sixth consecutive victory.

The Wildcats (12-2, 2-0 Southeastern Conference) led for all but a minute and stayed safely ahead thanks to key baskets that provided breathing room every time the Tigers crept within several possessions after halftime.

Missouri got within seven three times with less than 10 minutes remaining, but Antonio Reeves answered with a jumper and thunderous dunk before Aaron Bradshaw threw down another.

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Missouri (8-7, 0-2) never got closer than nine after that, missing 14 of its final 15 shots while Kentucky made 13 of 20.

The Wildcats also hit 27 of 32 free throws, which was important against a Missouri team that wouldn’t go away even when shots weren’t falling.

“Defensively (in the) first half, shaky,” Kentucky coach John Calipari said. “And then second half, we played better or maybe they just missed shots, I don’t know. But the numbers looked like we played better in the second half offensively.”

Mitchell opened with consecutive 3s and scored eight of Kentucky’s first 10 points before Dillingham entered to score 11 before halftime and hit all three attempts from long range.

He was 6 of 7 overall with 8-of-10 shooting from the line. The Wildcats were outshot most of the night before going 6 of 8 during one late stretch.

“I just try to make the right play,” Dillingham said. “I already know, like, a team can’t run with us for a full game and if they can, then they’re a great team.”

Mitchell finished with his second consecutive double-double and third in four games. D.J. Wagner had 16 points, Reeves added 14 and Bradshaw scored 10 to go with six rebounds.

“It’s just a matter of staying active and getting after it,” Mitchell said of his recent stretch. “A.B. (Bradshaw) draws a lot of attention and then I’m on the perimeter, as opposed to at the hoop, so

I’m able to create different angles and get around people that way. Doing whatever the team needs me to do.”

Noah Carter had 20 points, Sean East II added 19 and Tamar Bates scored 18 for the Tigers, who lost for the fifth time in six games and fell to 0-9 at Rupp Arena.

They had hoped to rebound from losing Saturday’s SEC opener against Georgia and beat the Wildcats for the second consecutive season.

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Missouri shot above 50% most of the game and actually got to the foul line more often than usual (17 of 22) to stay within reach of Kentucky. The defense kept the Wildcats from breaking it open, but the Tigers couldn’t overcome that cold stretch.

“We had the looks, the same looks that we got in the first half, the first 10 minutes of the second half,” coach Dennis Gates said. “But in those last 10 minutes, we missed about 13 straight shots.

But we did get to the free throw line, which obviously allowed us to stay within the distance that we did.”

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Kentucky regrouped from being outrebounded the past two games to dominate Mizzou 42-27 on the glass. Dillingham and Reed Sheppard provided energy off the bench to key a 26-10 advantage over the Tigers’ reserves.

UP NEXT

Missouri hosts South Carolina on Saturday and Kentucky visits Texas A&M on Saturday.

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