Gamecocks falter down the stretch to lose to Missouri

South Carolina (11-7, 1-4 SEC) held a 13-point lead early in the second half, but they could not hold off No. 22 Missouri (14-4, 3-2 SEC) as the Tigers defeated the Gamecocks 71-65 in conference action on Tuesday evening.
Junior guard Brenton Williams scored 16 points on four 3-pointers to lead the offensive effort for South Carolina.

Junior guard Bruce Ellington scored seven points and brought down a team-high nine rebounds. Junior forward RJ Slawson scored 12 points and notched six boards. Freshman Laimonas Chatkevicius and senior Lakeem Jackson, both forwards, added nine and eight points, respectively.

For the Tigers, redshirt junior guard Earnest Ross scored a game-high 21 points and had 10 rebounds while senior forward Alex Oriakhi scored 18 and registered a game-high 11 rebounds. Redshirt sophomore guard Jabari Brown also reached double figures, tallying 17. Junior guard Phil Pressey dished out seven assists and scored six points in the matchup.

With the score even at 63 with 1:27 on the clock, Ross hit a 3 at the top of the key to break the tie, putting the Tigers up 66-63. Williams drew Oriakhi’s fifth foul on a drive to the basket with 46.8 to go and drained both shots from the line to pull within one.

Missouri called their final timeout with nine seconds on the shot clock and 20.4 in the game. Brown nailed a three from the corner on an assist from Ross to put the Tigers up by four at 69-65. Ellington missed a layup on the other end and junior forward Tony Criswell sank two more free throws to make the final score 71-65.

Photo courtesy of USC Athletics

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