USC had their best shooting night of the season Tuesday night at Missouri, but the shots didn’t fall late in the second half while the Tigers couldn’t miss in an 83-74 Mizzou victory. The loss is the eighth straight for the Gamecocks who fall to 8-16 overall and 1-10 in the SEC. Mizzou improved to 18-6 overall and 6-5 in the SEC.
USC shot 52% for the game, their high water mark of the season, but the Gamecocks made just three of their last 14 shots over the final nine minutes. Conversely, the Tigers made their final five shots from the floor over the final eight minutes and finished with a 51% shooting night.
Both teams attempted 25 three pointers. The Tigers made a dozen, the Gamecocks nine. Each attempted 21 free throws. Missouri made 17, the Gamecocks 13. And the clingy Missouri defense forced 14 turnovers they converted into 18 points.
Missouri led 42-37 at the half, and the Gamecocks hung around until they hit that drought with about five minutes to play. A Hayden Brown layup pulled the Gamecocks to within four at 69-65 with 5:48 left.
The Tigers scored the next seven points for a 76-65 lead with 4:24 left. A deep three by Nick Honor, a former Clemson guard, capped that run and seemingly took the steam out of the Gamecocks. They would get no closer than nine points the rest of the way.
GG Jackson, who did not start for the first time this season due to a decision by coach Lamont Paris, came off the bench to lead the Gamecocks in scoring with 23 points. Hayden Brown added 19 points and Jacobi Wright 11. Kobe Brown led the Tigers with 19 points.
USC continues a two-game road trip Saturday afternoon at Ole Miss.