Lexington, KY (SportsNetwork.com) - Aaron Harrison scored 16 points and No. 1 Kentucky, which lost some support in the polls following its first rocky week of the season, answered its critics by spanking Missouri 86-37 on Tuesday.
Harrison made five of his seven shots from the perimeter and Karl-Anthony Towns did a bit of everything, finishing with 12 points, 10 rebounds and five blocked shots.
Kentucky, which established itself as the nation's top team during a dominant non-conference slate, was due for a big win following a pair of nailbiters last week.
The Wildcats (16-0, 3-0 SEC) needed overtime to beat Ole Miss on Jan. 6, then survived a double-OT thriller against Texas A&M four days later.
"It was frustrating because we weren't doing what we normally know we can do," said Towns. "We had great days of practice, really talked it out and we came out tonight and we did what we wanted to do."
They returned to the friendly confines of Rupp Arena after those two road tests and returned to form, hitting 48.2 percent of their shots while limiting Missouri to just 27.1 percent shooting.
"We wanted to take away their 3s," said Kentucky coach John Calipari. "That was the whole game plan."
Missouri's leading scorer Johnathan Williams III only managed three points on 1-of-13 shooting. Wes Clark and Keanau Post both had 10 points to lead the Tigers (7-9, 1-2).
Kentucky led 12-10 in the early going before a prolonged Tigers drought, which included four turnovers on consecutive possessions, allowed the Wildcats to break the game open.
Harrison and Tyler Ulis hit 3s during the 12-0 run, which Jakeenan Gant finally ended with a dunk at 8:27. Kentucky came back with the next eight points, and it was a 20-point game.
Kentucky continued to build on its 44-18 halftime lead, nearly matching that lopsided score in the second half.
Kentucky is 7-0 against Missouri all-time ... Kentucky freshman Devin Booker scored seven points. His father, Melvin Booker, was a star at Missouri ... Missouri's second leading scorer Montaque Gill-Caesar missed his third straight game with back spasms.