University of Missouri

Another Missouri comeback falls short in 60-57 loss against Georgia

Georgia’s Yante Maten (left) and Derek Ogbeide fought off Missouri’s K.J. Walton (center) as they battled for a rebound in the first half as the Bulldogs and Tiger played Wednesday night at Mizzou Arena in Columbia.
Georgia’s Yante Maten (left) and Derek Ogbeide fought off Missouri’s K.J. Walton (center) as they battled for a rebound in the first half as the Bulldogs and Tiger played Wednesday night at Mizzou Arena in Columbia. The Associated Press

Two weeks and a change of venue made a big difference for Missouri in its rematch against Georgia, especially in the first half Wednesday at Mizzou Arena.

The Tigers, who lost by 18 on Jan. 6 in Athens, Ga., played the Bulldogs to a first-half stalemate only to have a 5-minute, 49-second scoring drought in the second half be their undoing in a 60-57 loss.

Missouri, 8-10 and 1-4 in the SEC, led 34-33 on a three-pointer by junior Wes Clark roughly five minutes into the second half.

Georgia, 10-6 and 3-3, then rattled off a game-deciding 17-0 run that quieted the crowd of 5,453 on the way to its first road win of the season.

It didn’t completely bury the Tigers, but it did prove too much for second-year coach Kim Anderson’s squad overcome.

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“I think we’ve made some good progress, some positive steps,” said freshman forward Kevin Puryear, who scored 10 and led MU with seven rebounds. “Sadly, there are no moral victories in basketball. We’d definitely like to see some increases in the win column, but I think we’re playing a lot better basketball than the beginning of the season.”

Junior J.J. Frazier drilled two three-pointers, while senior Kenny Gaines and junior Kenny Paul Geno each added one as the Bulldogs went in front 50-34.

“It gets a little hard when you can’t see the ball go through the net,” said freshman guard Terrence Phillips, who scored a team-high 12 with six rebounds. “You get a little frustrated and get some lapses going.”

The Tigers scratched back during the next seven-plus minutes, scoring 19 of the game’s next 25 points and pulling within 56-53 on a pair of free throws by Phillips with 55.6 seconds remaining.

Three points was as close as Missouri, which has lost five straight against Georgia, got.

Sophomore Namon Wright scored eight of his team-high 12 points in the comeback, which fell just short in what’s become an all-too-familiar refrain.

Wright also added five rebounds for the Tigers, who dug big holes and mounted nearly-as-big comebacks against Northwestern and Illinois only to fall a few points shy of victory.

“It’s looking like the same song, but we’re not purposely doing …,” said Puryear, who has reached double-figure scoring in 12 of 18 games. “We keep having mental lapses and falling behind. We have to play smarter. We’re playing hard, but not as smart.”

Clark finished with five points after being limited to three first-half minutes with two early fouls.

“He’s a really good player,” Georgia coach Mark Fox said. “Certainly, that probably helped our cause that he had to sit out.”

The Tigers had no answer for Bulldogs sophomore Yante Maten, who finished with games highs of 21 points and 12 rebounds.

Frazier added 16 points with six rebounds and a game-best seven assists, while Gaines chipped in 11 points and junior Houston Kessler yanked down 10 boards as Georgia won that battle 43-32.

The Tigers and Bulldogs were tied 22-22 at halftime Wednesday at Mizzou Arena.

Missouri spotted Georgia a 10-point lead and trailed 13-2 after 3  1/2 minutes Jan. 6 in Athens, Ga. It was academic from there.

During the rematch, the Tigers led for most of the first 12 minutes before a Frazier jumper briefly gave the Bulldogs a 13-12 lead at the 7:45 mark.

That came after a scoring drought of nearly four minutes by both teams

Missouri immediately went back in front on a three-pointer by Wright.

The Tigers continued to lead until the 3:37 mark when Gaines finished a fastbreak with a dunk after picking freshman K.J. Walton’s pocket near midcourt.

Sophomore Tramaine Isabell’s fastbreak floater and a pair of free throws had Missouri in front 22-19 in the final minute before Maten’s old-fashioned three-point play knotted the game with 16.7 seconds left before intermission.

“I think the game was lost in the first half, to be honest with you,” Anderson said. “That’s the time we had an opportunity to maybe get a lead and make them play from behind, and we didn’t do that.”

GEORGIA 60, MISSOURI 57

TableStyle: SP-bkwideplayersCCI Template: SP-bkwideplayers

GEORGIA

Min

FG-A

FT-A

O-R

A

PF

PT

Maten

36

10-21

1-1

5-12

0

3

21

Mann

33

2-11

1-2

0-2

2

1

5

Gaines

30

4-11

1-1

0-0

1

4

11

Frazier

36

5-9

4-4

0-6

7

1

16

Edwards

12

0-1

0-2

1-2

1

1

0

Kessler

23

1-4

0-0

4-10

0

1

2

Geno

18

1-3

0-0

0-2

3

2

3

Ogbeide

9

1-1

0-0

0-3

0

2

2

Jackson II

2

0-0

0-0

0-0

0

0

0

Wilridge

1

0-0

0-0

0-1

0

0

0

TEAM

   

2-5

   

Totals

200

24-61

7-10

12-43

14

15

60

Percentages: FG .393, FT .700. Three-Point Goals: 5-15, .333 (Frazier 2-5, Gaines 2-6, Geno 1-1, Kessler 0-1, Mann 0-2). Blocked Shots: 6 (Maten 6). Turnovers: 12 (Mann 3, Kessler 3, Maten 2, Geno, Edwards, Gaines, Frazier). Steals: 7 (Mann 3, Kessler 2, Gaines, Frazier). Technical Fouls: None.

TableStyle: SP-bkwideplayersCCI Template: SP-bkwideplayers

MISSOURI

Min

FG-A

FT-A

O-R

A

PF

PT

Phillips

28

3-9

3-4

3-6

2

2

12

Wright

28

3-8

4-6

1-5

2

3

12

Clark

21

2-5

0-0

0-3

1

4

5

Puryear

25

4-8

2-2

1-7

0

0

10

Rosburg

25

3-4

0-1

0-5

0

1

6

Isabell

24

3-10

3-6

0-3

2

2

9

Woods

15

0-1

0-0

0-0

0

0

0

VanLeer

14

1-5

0-0

1-1

0

0

3

Allen

11

0-1

0-0

0-0

0

1

0

Walton

6

0-0

0-0

0-0

0

2

0

Gant

3

0-2

0-0

0-0

0

0

0

TEAM

   

0-2

   

Totals

200

19-53

12-19

6-32

7

15

57

Percentages: FG .358, FT .632. Three-Point Goals: 7-21, .333 (Phillips 3-5, Wright 2-5, Clark 1-3, VanLeer 1-4, Puryear 0-1, Isabell 0-3). Blocked Shots: 3 (Rosburg, Wright, Allen). Turnovers: 11 (Phillips 4, Clark 3, VanLeer, Walton, Woods, Rosburg). Steals: 3 (Isabell 2, Phillips). Technical Fouls: None.

Half: Tied 22-22. Attendance: 5,453. Officials: Mike Nance, Mike Roberts, Lamar Simpson.

AP-WF-01-21-16 0221GMT

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