South Carolina preaches defense. It is something they work on quite a bit. They led the SEC coming into tonight matchup at Mizzou Arena in three-point defense. They certainly padded that stat. The Tigers made just 1-of-15 from beyond the arc and lost their 12th straight game 63-53 to the 23rd ranked Gamecocks.
Russell Woods and K.J. Walton led the Tigers with 18 and 12 points respectively. I asked Woods after the game what the difference was tonight for him in the scoring column after his 0-fer against Mississippi State.
“The officials let us play. They let two aggressive teams play.”
The open game allowed Woods to attack inside, as Mizzou outscored USC 36-12 inside the paint. However, the outside shooting and off-night for Jordan Barnett (1-for-7, 2 pts) hurt the Tigers in the second half.
Walton did a great job of defending Sindarius Thornwell who finished with 16 points, but it only came on 4-of-15 shooting with a perfect 7-of-7 from the free throw line. Mizzou couldn’t defend the three as Carolina hit nine from beyond the arc and seemed to answer anytime the Tigers tried to cut into their lead, never getting closer than seven late down the stretch.
Watch the postgame press conference.
— Bill Pollock (@missourisports) January 29, 2017