USC spotted Missouri a 10-0 lead to start the game and was never able to catch up in an 81-70 loss in Columbia, MO Tuesday night. The closest the Gamecocks got after the early 10 point deficit was 22-17 with just under nine minutes to play in the half. But the Tigers went on a 13-5 run over the next five minutes to re-establish control of the game. Missouri led 45-34 at the break.
Any hopes of a rally in the second half for the Gamecocks died quickly as Missouri scored the first four points to go up by 15. The Tigers led by double digits the entire second half as ten points was as close as the Gamecocks could get.
The Gamecocks had below normal offensive production from their backcourt. AJ Lawson, Jermaine Couisnard, Seventh Woods, TJ Moss and Trae Hannibal combined to go 7-34 from the floor and 4-8 from the line for 22 points. Their leading scorer turned out to be seldom used forward Trey Anderson who came off the bench to score 17 points and grab 5 rebounds. Justin Minaya had his typical all-around night with 10 points, 11 rebounds and 5 assists.
But the big problem for the Gamecocks all night was defense. Missouri shot 58% for the game, hitting 28 of 48 attempts from the field. And they made hay at the foul line going 20-30 compared to USC’s 8-19 effort.
The loss drops USC to 3-4 overall and 1-2 in the SEC. The Gamecocks have yet to win over the road this season. They will host Auburn Saturday afternoon.