National Basketball Association
Kentucky 71, Missouri 59
When: 2:00 PM ET, Saturday, January 4, 2020
Where: Rupp Arena at Central Bank Center, Lexington, Kentucky
Officials: # Vladimir Voyard-Tadal, # Steve Oglesby, # Joe Lindsay
Attendance: 20396

No. 17 Kentucky, the preseason pick to win the Southeastern Conference, took the first step toward that goal with a 71-59 victory over visiting Missouri in Lexington, Ky., in the league opener for both teams.

The Wildcats, winners of a conference-best 48 SEC titles, got 21 points and 12 rebounds from junior forward Nick Richards and 23 points off the bench from sophomore guard Immanuel Quickley. It was career-best for Quickley and the sixth double-double of the season for Richards.

It was Richards who carried Kentucky (10-3, 1-0 SEC) early, scoring his team's first nine points until nearly the midway point of the first half. By halftime, Richards had 17 points on 7-of-10 shooting to go with eight rebounds.

Richards and Quickley also were integral in Kentucky grabbing control of the game with a 12-0 run midway through the first half. Trailing 17-9 with 10:22 to play, Kentucky got five points from Richards and a 3-pointer from Quickley to spark the run to go up 21-17 with 7:38 to play. The Wildcats were never threatened after that.

Missouri, No. 1 in the SEC in scoring defense and field-goal percentage defense, held Kentucky to 41.7 percent shooting. However, Kentucky, the No. 1 free-throw shooting team in the conference at 79.0 percent, made 27 of 30. Quickley, who leads the SEC at 94.9 percent, made all nine tries. The Wildcats outscored Missouri 27-11 from the foul line.

Ashton Hagans, tops in the SEC at 7.3 assists per game, had seven assists. Kentucky also won the rebounding battle, 36-31.

Kentucky's defense limited Missouri to 36.2 percent shooting, including 6 of 18 from 3-point range.

Guard Dru Smith was the only player for Missouri (8-5, 0-1) in double figures with 11 points. Freshman Kobe Brown added nine.

--Field Level Media

Top Game Performances
Missouri   Kentucky
Dru Smith 11 Scoring Immanuel Quickley 23
Dru Smith 2 Assists Ashton Hagans 7
Kobe Brown 3 Rebounds Nick Richards 12
Mario McKinney Jr. 3 Free Throws Made Immanuel Quickley 9
Dru Smith 4 Steals Ashton Hagans 1
Reed Nikko 2 Blocks Nick Richards 4
Team Stats Summary
Team Points FG% 3PM-3PA FTM-FTA Assists Rebounds Blocks Steals Turnovers
Missouri 59 36.2 6-18 11-17 7 24 4 8 11
Kentucky 71 41.7 4-16 27-30 13 32 8 3 13