Darnell Tabor – 23 Sports

On Feb. 20th, The Tigers traveled to Columbia to take on the South Carolina Gamecocks in an SEC battle. Mizzou came into this matchup looking to snap a three-game losing streak, while South Carolina looked for a win in what has been a rather disappointing season as they had lost their last four coming into this one and have gone 3-9 in SEC play.

The Tigers came into this game with their star big man Jeremiah Tilmon who had missed their two previous games due to a death in the family. In those two games, Mizzou suffered losses to Arkansas and Georgia. The Gamecocks on the other hand are coming off a blowout loss at 19. Tennessee and proceeding that loss the Gamecocks dropped three straight at home against Mississippi State, Alabama, and Ole Miss.

The Tigers jumped out to an early lead in the first half they would retain this lead throughout the duration of the Game. The Tigers great defense was a huge contribution to this lead as they held the Gamecocks to just 41.5% shooting throughout the game and just 28% throughout the first half. 

The Tigers went into halftime with a comfortable sixteen-point lead, in the first half Mizzou lead by as much as 19. 

The second half would be much of the same as the Tigers continued to dominate as they lead by as much as 20. The Tigers had a pretty balanced attack as 4 of 5 Starters ended the game in double figures and 5 overall ended with double figures. Tigers big man Tilmon returned off the bench while scoring 17 points and a perfect shooting night as he went 5-5 from the field and 7-7 from the free-throw line. Mizzou guard Xavier Pinson ended the night with 16 points, while his teammate scored 17 points and had a nice shooting night going 6-8 from the field and 2-3 from three-point land while also dishing a season-high seven assists. The two Tigers Kobe Brown and Mark Smith contributed to the winning effort scoring 12 points and 13 points respectively. Brown also had a nice night on the defensive end as he snatched a season-high three steals. 

The Gamecocks did not find much success on the offensive end but were lead by guard AJ Lawson with a game high 22 points, Lawson did struggle shooting though as he went 5-16 from the field and 4-11 from long range. Gamecock forward Keyshawn Bryant scored 15 points while shooting 6-15 from the field and 3-7 from behind the arc. The one bright spot for the Gamecocks was Trae Hannibal who scored 15 points and had a flawless night from the field as he shot 6-6 for and 2-2 from downtown. 

The Tigers would ultimately win convincingly by a score of 93-78, their first win in Columbia, SC since the 2017-18 season. This would be head coach Cuonzo Martin’s 250th career win. The Tigers would improve to 14-6 good enough for 6th in the SEC and the Gamecocks would Fall to 5-11 while stretching their losing streak to five games. The Tigers take on Ole Miss on Tuesday, Feb. 23 at Mizzou Arena. 

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