LEXINGTON, Ky. — For the first part of Southeastern Conference play, the Missouri men's basketball team's low energy starts on the road caused its defeats.
Now Missouri's late-game mistakes are causing its defeats on the road.
The Missouri men's basketball team had no problem coping with a packed Rupp Arena on Saturday night in Lexington, Ky., for the first half at least, in the Tigers' 90-83 overtime loss to Kentucky.
Missouri took advantage of Kentucky's soft interior defense early, blowing by the Wildcats for quick layups.
The Tigers were dominating the rebounds as well.
It didn't matter if 7-foot Kentucky forward Willie Cauley-Stein was draped around Missouri forward Alex Oriakhi— Oriakhi found a way to get his rebounds, with 15 on the night. Oriakhi also scored 16 points.
Missouri led by as much as 13 in the first half.
But in the second half, Kentucky started making its shots. Kentucky closed up its interior holes and started to rebound. Kentucky was ahead seven points at one point in the second half.
Missouri fought back with point guard Phil Pressey leading the charge. Pressey brought Missouri back ahead 75-73 with an ensuing layup after a Kentucky turnover, calmly pumping his fist up afterwards as he was embraced by teammates.
"Pressey is one of the best point guards you'll see," Kentucky coach John Calipari said after the game. "Plus he was making shots today which makes him even tougher. So we tried everything… big guy on him, small guy on him and he still had his way."
A layup by Cauley-Stein tied the game up 75-75 with 41 seconds to go.
With seven seconds to go in regulation, Pressey was short on a go-ahead layup and Kentucky guard Julius Mays missed a half-court shot, bringing the game to overtime.
Both teams exchanged baskets in overtime, but started to pull ahead after Kentucky guard, Archie Goodwin scored off a layup to make it 81-79 following a missed 3-pointer from Pressey.
After a turnover from Pressey with 49 seconds to go in overtime, Forward Tony Criswell had to intentionally foul guard Alex Poythress. Poythress's free throws put Kentucky ahead 83-79.
Missouri could not catch up after that. Kentucky outscored Missouri 15-8 in overtime and out-rebounded Missouri 41-39 on the night.
"They had great fans in the building," Haith said of Kentucky. "I thought they played off the crowd."
The Tigers fall to 19-8, 8-6. They play their next game at South Carolina Thursday. Kentucky advances to 19-8, 10-4.