Being the oldest member of a young Kentucky team didn’t exempt Julius Mays from the transition toward becoming a leader. His contributions in Saturday night’s 90-83 overtime victory over Missouri not only solidified his qualifications, but might have firmed up the Wildcats’ postseason credentials as well.
Mays scored eight points in overtime, including four clinching free throws in the final 33 seconds, helping Kentucky beat Missouri and get the important victory it needed to bolster its NCAA tournament chances.
The fifth-year senior guard who graduated from Wright State and transferred to Kentucky, made six free throws in overtime and scored 21 of his 24 points after halftime for the Wildcats (19-8, 10-4 Southeastern Conference). Kentucky needed a ‘quality’ win to go along with its triumph over then-No. 16 Mississippi last month, and got it by holding serve at Rupp Arena over Missouri (19-8, 8-6) in the marquee game on ESPN College Game Day. The Wildcats’ backcourt was key in beating the Tigers.