The 22nd ranked Missouri Tigers used a second half rally to overcome a 13 point deficit to beat the South Carolina Gamecocks 71-65 on Tuesday night at Mizzou Arena. After shooting 20% in the first half, the Tigers were sparked by Earnest Ross, Jabari Brown and Alex Oriakhi in the second.
The Tigers missed 22 of their first 25 three point attempts including just 1 of 14 on three’s in the opening 20 minutes, but they hit a pair of clutch threes in the final 1:10 to key the comeback win.
Brown hit the last three of the night with 14 seconds to play with Mizzou up 66-65. His three made it 69-65 and Tony Criswell sank both free throws with four seconds left to finish off the scoring. Moments earlier, Ross broke a 63-63 tie hitting a three from the top of the key. Phil Pressey also banked in a three late in the game.
A 20-2 run by Mizzou in the second half set the stage for the big comeback. After the Gamecocks took their 13-point lead on a putback by Michael Carrera with 17:11 to play, Mizzou scored five straight points. After another USC basket made it 43-33, Mizzou scored 15 straight points to take a 48-43 lead with 11:50 left.
Ross finished with 21 points, Oriakhi with 18 on 4 of 4 shooting and 10 for 10 from the line, and Brown added 17. The Tigers finished 28 of 36 at the line, while South Carolina was just 11 of 17 from the line…that essentially was the game.
After the poor shooting in the first half, Mizzou hit 48% in the second half.
AUDIO Listen to Mizzou’s postgame press conference with Earnest Ross, Alex Oriakhi and Frank Haith (24:00)