After Saturday's overwhelming victory over top-seeded Tennessee, it would have been a rational excuse for Kentucky to stall to start Tuesday's game in Missouri.
However, thanks to an excellent training and the game of the team ranked fourth, the Wildcats took a 41-23 lead over the Tigers.
Throughout the second half, both teams played hard fighting as the competition became "chippy". Missouri took the lead in Kentucky late in the game and Reid Travis was injured in the knee, but Kentucky weathered the storm to finish. outside the Tigers, 66-58.
Travis goes to the locker room
The starting center, Reid Travis, injured his knee in the middle of the second half. Travis managed to play the next well in defense, but was replaced by a time remaining at 10:24.
The transfer of graduates is directly directed to the locker room, clumsily favoring his knee. There was 7:59 left in the game, ESPN issued an update stating that Travis had been ruled out with a knee sprain. The injury occurred when Keldon Johnson accidentally hit Travis' knee as he tried to recover a rebound.
Losing Travis, even for a short time, would be embarrassing for the Wildcats. Its rock-like presence inside the painted area is irreplaceable and significant for what Kentucky performs at both ends of the court. His injury will certainly deserve to be monitored before the Wildcats' next outing.
Washington supports its excellence
Forward Sophomore PJ Washington plays by far the best basketball of his two-year career in Kentucky. On Tuesday morning, Washington was named National Player of the Week Oscar Robertson, in addition to being already recognized player of the week for the Southeast Conference.
Washington continued to make waves in Colombia on Tuesday night, scoring 15 of Kentucky's 41 points in the first half. He scored those 15 points on 6-10 shots and was a +20 in his first 18 minutes of action.
The Kentucky super star continued to dominate in all areas, finishing the game with 18 points, eight rebounds and three assists. Washington's decision to return to school continues to benefit not only his NBA stocks, but also his team's chances of suspending their ninth league title.
Richards off the seat
Nick Richards, the starting center of last year, gave way to the pass this season to get the transfer from Reid Travis and in the rotation to EJ Montgomery, the team's top rookie last summer.
However, his reduced time on the hardwood did not affect Richards' work ethic nor his engine when he was replaced. Montgomery and Travis both had trouble early Tuesday night, which led Richards to extend his first-half play time.
The sophomore talent has excelled at the moment, scoring seven points on 3-3 and four rebounds, which should indicate that other performances like Tuesday's are coming soon.
The struggles of the Hagans concern
Aside from its positive performance against Tennessee on Saturday, the play of the leading Ashton Hagans has been rather disheartening over the past three weeks. His difficulties came back Tuesday night, missing the only shot he took and wizard on only one basket while performing three turnovers in 15 minutes in the first half.
Hagans was more concentrated in the second half, scoring 12 points while limiting his turnovers to a total of four. However, if Kentucky really wants to fight for a national title, the game of its leader will have to become much more consistent.
Herro does it all, again
First-year shooter Tyler Herro recorded his first career double in the Tennessee team's victory on Saturday. Although the shot percentage on goal was not effective, he led the two teams to bounce back and contributed to the shot in time to score two goals.
In Colombia, Herro found himself once again making some big shots to boost the team's momentum or put an end to a Tigers push. The young star finished the game with 18 points, five rebounds and two assists. Herro is chic for the "big" moment, which should greatly benefit Kentucky as the playoffs approach.
Kentucky (22-4) is back in Lexington, ready for the second round against the Auburn Tigers (17-8) on Saturday afternoon. The launch at the Rupp Arena is scheduled for 1:30 pm EST on CBS.