USC couldn’t keep up and Missouri couldn’t miss. The Gamecocks kept it close for almost a half but Mizzou’s scorching hot 69.6% shooting night powered the Tigers to a 90-68 win in front of a sparse crowd at Colonial Life Arena.
“Obviously we had no answers today,” Gamecocks coach Frank Martin said. “We couldn’t defend them. Missouri came out and got after us and they’ve got good players and we didn’t provide much resistance. It didn’t get any better as the game went on. We never put up a fight.”
Missouri pretty much put on a clinic out there. There were stretches where the Tigers were nailing threes and powering dunks home like they were playing in the NBA All-Star game. The Tigers starting five only missed eight shots the entire game. Keion Bell finished with 24 points and Jabari Brown and Alex Oriakhi finished with 23 and 18 points respectively. Their point guard Phil Pressey didn’t take a shot but finished with nine assists and five rebounds.
For their part, USC didn’t play horrible offensively. Damien Leonard scored 20 points and Brenton Williams and Brian Richardson both scored 10. The Gamecocks finished the game shooting 42.9% from the floor.
“It caught me off guard. I didn’t expect us to perform how we did today, did not expect it at all. But our whole goal is about getting better and for the last ten days we had gotten better. Today we didn’t get better. …That’s the disappointing thing. We had been doing things pretty good and we didn’t do them well today.”
USC drops to 13-15 this season. They will have to win out to avoid their fourth straight losing year. They have a quick turnaround with a game at Texas A&M Saturday night.