DuVonte’ Beard – 23Sports

Tuesday night, the Missouri Tigers (10-10, 2-5 SEC) dug out one of the best wins of their season versus the Georgia Bulldogs (11-9,1-6 SEC). Returning home from a loss against their Big12/SEC Challenge matchup, the West Virginia Mountaineers, the Tigers were looking to revamp and add their second conference win. Kicking off their conference battle with a poor first half effort did not stop them from storming back in the second half to achieve victory.

The Bulldogs took advantage early in the game, fueled by the scoring of freshman Anthony Edwards and Tyree Crump. Midway through the first half, both Crump and Edwards totaled more points (25 points) than the entire Tigers team (23 points). The Tigers were in early foul trouble, giving the Bulldogs the opportunity to make nine free throws to spread their lead. The rebound margin was another notable difference in first half play. The Bulldogs outrebounded the Tigers by seven. The first half ended with a Bulldogs lead of 42-30.
Starting at the 12-minute mark of the second half, the Tigers stormed back making a 29-7 run. The second half was fueled by the play of sophomores Javon Pickett and Xavier Pinson, along with the dirty work and hustle of senior Reed Nikko. The Tigers cut their three-point attempts by more than half, shooting only seven in the second half compared to their sixteen first half attempts. Every time a ball handler reached the paint, success was expected and achieved. During the Tigers’ run, they were able to do the opposite of what resulted in the first half, winning both the free throw and rebound battles. Their level of play on both the offensive and defensive ends of the floor lifted them to a comeback that was capped off by a huge late game block from Nikko.

The Missouri Tigers won the game with a score 72-69 over the Georgia Bulldogs. Next, the Tigers will travel to Columbia, S.C. to face the Gamecocks. The game will be played Saturday with a scheduled tip-off of 2:30 p.m. CT.