Score: Missouri 90, South Carolina 68
Stars: Missouri: Keion Bell 24 Pts, 4 Reb, 4 Ast. South Carolina: Damien Leonard 20 Pts, 2 Reb, 1 Ast.
Story: Missouri felt at home in the other Columbia and came out strong to dominate South Carolina in its second road win of the season. The Tigers have struggled on the road throughout the whole season with their only win before today against lowly Mississippi State. Coach Frank Haith made a couple of changes that really seemed to make a difference for Mizzou. In fact, the Tigers shot 69% from the field in what is by far their best road shooting performance of the season.
Phil Pressey really changed his game to better the team tonight. In the past, Pressey has jacked up shots and hurt the team with poor shooting, but today he finally put some trust in his teammates. Pressey didn't even score, but had nine assists. His backup, Keion Bell, was the player of the game with 24 points. Bell brought up the ball a little more than usual, which really seemed to throw off South Carolina and Frank Martin. Bell has been great the second half of the season and has been the difference maker in many games.
Another change Missouri made was in its shot selection. In the past, the Tigers have settled for too many 3-point attempts. It has Missouri out of games and given the other team momentum. Today, the TIgers forced the ball inside, feeding Laurence Bowers and Alex Oriakhi. The two big men dominated the paint, giving Missouri the edge down low. The Tigers only took nine threes today and made six of them.
The win gives Mizzou a school record with its fifth consecutive 20-win season. Every game is important for the Tigers the rest of the season as they are fighting for a double-bye in the SEC tournament. Currently, Mizzou is sixth and the Tigers would need to finish fourth to earn the first two days off. Missouri continues the regular season with a home game against LSU on Saturday afternoon.