Henry Politz – 23 Sports

Mizzou’s Achilles heel all season long has been finishing strong in the second half. Tuesday night’s matchup against the Georgia Bulldogs was yet another second half crumble for the Tigers after leading at halftime. The Tigers were leading the Bulldogs 37-33 at halftime and then proceeded to begin the second half on a 9-0 run, extending their lead to 46-33. This lead would not stick, however, as turnovers and poor shooting haunted the Tigers in the second half. 

After taking the 46-33 in the beginning of the second half, the Tigers proceeded to commit six turnovers and seven fouls, which allowed Georgia to tie the game 53-53 with 9:21 left in the game. From there on, Mizzou shot the ball poorly, continued to commit turnovers, and played sub-par defense, which was taken advantage of by Georgia, ultimately leading them to win the game 80-70. 

A noteworthy takeaway from this game is how well Georgia shot the ball. As a team, they had a field goal percentage of 49.1%, a three-point percentage of 46.7% and a free throw percentage of 80.8%. On the season, Georgia ranks third in the SEC in field goal percentage, but only ranks 10th in the SEC in both free throw percentage and three-point percentage, so this was not a typical game shooting the ball from the stripe and behind the arc for the Georgia Bulldogs.

Justin Kier led the way scoring-wise for the Bulldogs with 16 points, shooting 6-7 from the field and 2-2 from both the free throw line and the three-point line. Sahvir Wheeler also contributed to the Georgia offense with 12 points and six assists and Toumani Camara tallied 15 points with two assists and a pair of three-pointers. Wheeler and Camara led the way for the Bulldogs on the glass as well, as Wheeler reeled in seven rebounds and Camara hauled in eight. Off the bench, K.D. Johnson added 10 points, four steals, three assists and five rebounds, and Andrew Garcia dropped 13 points and collected three rebounds off the bench as well. 

For Mizzou, Kobe Brown was the best player on the court for them on Tuesday. He led the team in points with 21 points, shooting 8-15 from the field and 5-6 from the free throw line. He also recorded two blocks, one steal, one assist, and five rebounds. Xavier Pinson and Mark Smith each scored 11 points, and Xavier Pinson had a team-leading four assists and Mark Smith hauled in a team-leading seven rebounds. Dru Smith had nine points, four rebounds, two steals, and two assists, and Parker Braun came off of the bench and added seven points, three blocks, three assists, two rebounds, and a steal.

Mizzou is now 13-6 (6-6 SEC) on the season and they are on the road this Saturday, February 20th, taking on South Carolina at 1 p.m. Georgia’s record improves to 13-8 (6-8 SEC) this season and they are travelling to Gainesville this Saturday to face the Florida Gators, one of their most bitter rivals, in a game that starts at 3:30 PM. Mizzou and Georgia are now neck-and-neck in the SEC basketball rankings, as Mizzou ranks seventh in the conference and Georgia ranks eighth.

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