LEXINGTON (AP) — Kentucky coach Matthew Mitchell was relieved after his ninth-ranked Wildcats ended a two-game losing streak.
"I'm as happy with this win as any we've had in a long time," Mitchell said after the 80-69 victory over Missouri on Sunday. "We needed this win."
Bria Goss scored 20 points and had a clutch three-point play with 3:34 left that helped the Wildcats (14-3, 2-2 Southeastern Conference) get back on track following back-to-back losses to Florida and South Carolina.
"This is a huge win," Goss said. "Missouri is a really good team and for us to come out (and play) the way we did and battle back, get that confidence back is really good for us."
Janee Thompson followed Goss with 16 points, Jennifer O'Neill and DeNesha Stallworth each had 11 and Samarie Walker finished with 10 points and 13 rebounds to round out five Kentucky players in double figures.
Goss was 10-10 from the free-throw line and just missed a double-double with eight rebounds for the short-handed Wildcats.
Kentucky was without senior guard Kastine Evans, who sat out because of an undisclosed leg injury. Evans, the team's third leading scorer (11.2 points per game) leads the team in three-point field goals with 25. Mitchell lauded his team for stepping up in the absence of Evans and said he expects one of his senior leader to return for Sunday's game at Auburn.
"The champion that she is and the competitor that she is, she tried to battle in practice Friday and Saturday, but I would tell something was really wrong with her Saturday," Mitchell. "It's something we've been able to manage her whole career, so we're hopeful with this week off, we'll have her back on track. We don't anticipate this being long term."
O'Neill replaced Evans in the starting lineup, for her first start of the season. O'Neill made three of Kentucky's six 3-pointers in the contest.