Missouri basketball is back in the win column thanks to a 20-point second-half comeback at home against Georgia.
It was a big night for Missouri basketball.
The Tigers looked like they were going to drop their fifth-straight game, and a loss against Georgia at home, especially a blow-out loss, would be detrimental to the season.
Instead, coach Cuonzo Martin got his team to fight back, and the Tigers left Mizzou Arena with the hard-fought come-from-behind victory Tuesday night.
The Tigers defeated Georgia 72-69, thanks in large part to Xavier Pinson’s big second half. Pinson had 16 points, all in the final 14 minutes of the game, to help Missouri basketball win the game.
Missouri Tigers Basketball
Georgia (11-9, 1-6 SEC) led 59-39 at the 13:33 mark in the second half after Bulldogs freshman Anthony Edwards hit a 3-pointer. But Mizzou (10-10, 2-5) made sure the night wasn’t over just yet.
Pinson and senior Reed Nikko made huge plays down the stretch, and in many different plays.
The sophomore guard knocked down a 3-pointer to start a 10-0 run to make it 61-53 in the final seven minutes. He hit another trey that cut the lead to five points minutes later. Then, after Pinson sank two clutch free throws to make it 65-62, he set up a play to attack the Georgia zone from the top of the key.
Pinson found Mitchell Smith near the free-throw line, and the junior turned to find Nikko underneath the basket for a dunk. Nikko’s bucket made it a one-point game, and the senior hit two free throws to give the Tigers a one-point lead 30 seconds later.
Georgia’s Donnell Gresham Jr. and Mizzou’s Dru Smith swapped baskets, with Smith pulling and and-one to give the Tigers a 69-67 lead. The Bulldogs tied it up at 69, and Pinson then made one of the biggest plays of the night. He grabbed an offensive rebound from Edwards and turned it into an easy layup to go up two points again.
Then, it was Nikko’s turn to make another play.
Edwards, who led all players with 23 points and 10 rebounds in the game, cut to the hoop for a layup with less than 10 second to play, but Nikko came from behind to deny the basket with his second block of the game. Mitchell Smith split free throws, and Edwards missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer as Mizzou walked off the court the winners.
Nikko finished with 13 points and five rebounds. Mitchell Smith had 12 points and seven boards. Dru Smith added 16 points to tie Pinson for the team lead.
Mizzou needs to keep this momentum it built late in the game as it heads to Columbia, South Carolina, to play the Gamecocks on Saturday. This was a big win against a young Georgia team that is trying to find out how to play on the road. Luckily for the Tigers, Georgia fell apart late in the game and the Tigers made big plays to take advantage of it.
A win Saturday would make it even sweeter.