Mizzou basketball records first-ever victory over Kentucky

In front of a sold out Mizzou Arena Saturday afternoon, the Tigers outlasted the Kentucky Wildcats. (Greg Dailey/KRCG 13)

In front of a sold out Mizzou Arena Saturday afternoon, the Tigers outlasted the Kentucky Wildcats 69-60.

Jordan Barnett and Kassius Robertson each scored 16 points, and Jontay Porter chipped in 13. The freshman from Columbia led the Tigers with eight rebounds and blocked three shots.

A defensive battle in the first half saw Missouri gradually extend an early lead. Despite shooting just 9-23 in the opening frame, the Tigers had the opposite effect on the defense. Kentucky did not make a single three-pointer (0-10) and managed to shoot just 6-30 from the field in the first half.

After a slow start, Missouri went on a 6-0 run late in the first half to go up 26-18. The Tigers, despite a much shorter roster than the athletic Wildcats, were outrebounded by just two boards. The Tigers took a 28-18 lead into the locker room at the half.

The Wildcats opened the second half pressuring Missouri's backcourt. Kentucky shut down the Tigers' first three offensive possessions and trimmed the deficit to a single point at 33-32.

Enter, Missouri's shooters.

Jontay Porter buried a three-pointer from the top of the key and then hit a 12-foot jumper the following possession. Barnett scored eight points in a row for Mizzou, including two three-pointers. Robertson knocked down a triple of his own, and then Barnett hit a turnaround a jumper and was fouled. He made the free throw and Mizzou had its largest lead of the day at 52-38.

Kentucky matched the Tigers with buckets and heading into the final media timeout trailed Missouri 56-46. A relentless full court press on Missouri's smaller guards forced the Tigers into a turnover. But down the stretch, Kentucky fouled Robertson three times. The senior transfer was 8-8 from the free throw line in the final 2:15.

The Wildcats did not let up and eventually came within five points at 65-60 with :42 left in the game. Barnett blocked a three-point attempt and Porter tallied a block of his own on a short jumper with seconds remaining.

The Tigers improved to 15-8, 5-5 in SEC play. Missouri heads to Oxford, Mississippi Tuesday to take on Ole Miss at 8 p.m.

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