Smith also had seven rebounds and five assists to go along with 6-for-11 shooting. The senior also went 12 of 14 from the free throw line, knocking down numerous key foul shots late to help the Tigers (12-3, 5-3 Southeastern Conference) hold on.
Down 40-27 at halftime, Kentucky went on a 15-3 run to start the second half and cut Missouri’s lead to one. But the Wildcats (5-11, 4-5) never got the lead, hunt by a scoring drought of more than three minutes.
Mark Smith tacked on 11 points for Missouri, hitting three 3-pointers.
Missouri won its fifth game in sixth tries, while Kentucky has lost five of its last six. The game was held a day after its previously scheduled date due to COVID-19 protocols in the Wildcats’ program, issues that forced the cancellation of their slated SEC/Big 12 Challenge game against Texas on Saturday.
In a foul-prone second half where both teams were in the bonus with 11:28 remaining, numerous players dealt with foul trouble late into the game. Kentucky big man Olivier Sarr fouled out with 5:32 to play while Boston did so with 1:01 left. Three other players (Kentucky’s Devin Askew and Lance Ware, Missouri’s Kobe Brown) were saddled with four fouls.
LETTING IT FLY
Both teams shot well above their averages from 3-point range. Entering Wednesday shooting 30.1% for the season, Missouri went 7 of 11 (64%) from deep in the first half and 9 of 21 (42.9%) for the game. Kentucky, shooting at a 29% clip before its trip to Columbia, finished 9 of 20 (45%) from deep.
FLETCHER SUITS UP
Freshman guard Cam’Ron Fletcher — a St. Louis native — played in his home state for his first appearance since being suspended by coach John Calipari following an emotional outburst on the bench in a loss to North Carolina on Dec. 19. His shift was brief; Fletcher played just a single minute and recorded no stats.
Missouri: Notched only its second win over the Wildcats, with the only other victory coming Feb. 3, 2018. The Tigers also improved to 7-1 this season when Pinson and Dru Smith each reach double figures in scoring.
Kentucky: Having dropped to 4-5 in SEC play, the Wildcats now have a losing conference record for the first time since February 2018.
Missouri: Plays No. 10 Alabama at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at home.
Kentucky: Takes on No. 11 Tennessee at 7 p.m. Saturday at home.