Kentucky vs. Missouri score: Big Blue loses Reid Travis to knee injury in win at Mizzou

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Kentucky has remained relatively healthy on the injury front for much of the season, but the bug may have bit on Tuesday night in an unfortunate fashion with big man Reid Travis suffering a knee sprain in the second half of the Wildcats' 66-58 win at Missouri

Travis, a graduate transfer from Stanford, came into the game averaging 11.6 points and 7.6 rebounds per game for the Wildcats. The injury occurred midway through the second half when Keldon Johnson, after a missed layup, fell to the floor and rolled up on Travis' lower leg. Travis was able to walk off the court and into the locker room under his own power, but the school was quick to rule him out for the rest of the game. 

After the game, Calipari said that Travis' injury was a game changer and once the big man left he was just trying to "take the air out of the ball" and get out of Columbia with a win. He also noted that if Travis is going to miss time, it's going to be up to Nick Richards and EJ Montgomery to step up to fill the void down low. 

Kentucky's defense, which ranked among the top 10 nationally in terms of adjusted efficiency coming into the game, was the star of the game through the first 20 minutes and the Wildcats led by as many as 20, at 48-28, early in the second half. That defense which helped establish a comfortable lead against a lesser opponent on the road started to show some cracks when Travis left the game. Missouri's late charge to cut the lead to single digits suggests that missed assignments and poor positioning have been masked at times this year by Travis' veteran presence and ability to be in the right place and make the right play on the defensive end.  

At the moment, Travis' injury is not considered serious enough to change the expectations for Kentucky in terms of its Final Four ceiling or national title contention. But the way Kentucky's top-10 defense seemed lost without Travis on the floor is worth tracking should he miss any significant time over the next couple of weeks. 

CBS Sports Writer

Chip Patterson has spent his young career covering college sports from the Old North State. He's been writing and talking about football and basketball for CBS Sports since 2010. You may have heard him... Full Bio

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