University of Missouri

Amid more turmoil, Missouri holds off South Carolina for 72-67 win

Missouri’s Tramaine Isabell (left) drove to the net defended by South Carolina’s Michael Carrera in the first half as the Tigers and Gamecocks played Tuesday night at Mizzou Arena in Columbia.
Missouri’s Tramaine Isabell (left) drove to the net defended by South Carolina’s Michael Carrera in the first half as the Tigers and Gamecocks played Tuesday night at Mizzou Arena in Columbia. The Associated Press

There was a lot working against Missouri on Tuesday night at Mizzou Arena.

The Tigers announced an hour before tipoff against South Carolina that junior guard Wes Clark had been dismissed.

Barely 5,000 people, including a sparsely populated student section, showed up for the midweek battle, zapping the energy from a building that had been vibrating only three days earlier for the “Rally for Rhyan” game.

Factor in the opponent, a veteran Gamecocks team that sits one game out of first place in the Southeastern Conference, and the ingredients for a letdown were seemingly in place.

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Missouri didn’t follow that recipe and instead stymied cold-shooting South Carolina, surviving a furious rally in the last minutes for a 72-67 victory — the first time the Tigers have won back-to-back conference games under second-year coach Kim Anderson.

“These guys have worked really hard,” Anderson said. “They were unbelievably ready to play tonight and I thought it showed, especially at the beginning. Then, they didn’t panic when they got down there at the end.”

Missouri, 10-16 overall and 3-10 in the SEC, had led throughout — by as many as 15 points in the first half — before senior Michael Carrera brought South Carolina all the way back with 2:59 remaining.

He drew a fifth foul on Tigers freshman Kevin Puryear and connected on two free throws that gave the Gamecocks a 63-62 lead, their first of the game.

“Three weeks ago, we would’ve lost that game — maybe by 10 points,” Anderson said.

Missouri coach Kim Anderson, senior forward Ryan Rosburg and sophomore guard Namon Wright discussed Tuesday's 72-67 win against South Carolina at Mizzou Arena in Columbia. Anderson also discussed the dismissal of junior guard Wes Clark.

Rather than shrink away, senior forward Ryan Rosburg and freshman guard Terrence Phillips powered Mizzou back in front.

“We expected to win and knew we were going to win,” said Rosburg, who finished with 18 points and five rebounds. “When we went down, there was no panic in our eyes like maybe in past times. We just knew we needed to make a big play … and we were ready.”

Rosburg went 4 of 6 at the free-throw line in the final 2:31, including the game-winning free throw with 83 seconds left.

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He also whipped a pass along the baseline to Phillips for a three-point play and added a key blocked shot against freshman PJ Dozier to protect a one-point lead with a minute to go.

Desperate South Carolina even deployed the Hack-a-Rosburg, but it failed as the team’s lone senior refused to crumble.

“I didn’t know they could do that,” Rosburg said. “I didn’t know it was like the NBA, but I felt like DeAndre Jordan.”

Anderson admitted that he considered subbing Rosburg out, but couldn’t bring himself to do it.

“I thought about it, but, you know what, I’m riding the horse,” Anderson said. “He’s a guy who doesn’t get to play in the postseason ever again, so I’m going to ride the horse. He stepped up … and he’s earned that opportunity to be in there. I was happy he made the free throws he made.”

Rosburg wasn’t along.

Phillips’ baseline penetration and assist to a cutting K.J. Walton for a layup with 35.3 seconds left helped ice the game along with his defensive rebound with 13 seconds left.

Phillips finished the game with 15 points, seven rebounds and four assists. Sophomore guards Namon Wright (11) and Tramaine Isabell (10) also reached double figures along with freshman guard K.J. Walton (10).

Missouri played in front of a season-best crowd of 10,536 during Saturday’s emotionally charged “Rally for Rhyan” game.

The crowd thinned considerably to only 5,017 Tuesday, but the Tigers still managed to carry over the momentum created by the weekend’s win against Tennessee.

The Gamecocks, who were throttled 89-62 at home by Kentucky on Saturday in a first-place showdown, came out flat and couldn’t find the range early, starting 3 of 22 from the field.

Missouri outrebounded South Carolina 46-39 and limited coach Frank Martin’s squad to 33.3 percent shooting.

“They just beat us,” Martin said. “They out-rebounded us. They outshot us from the foul line. With the game on the line, they were tougher than us to score balls at the rim. We couldn’t score, and we couldn’t stop them. Give them credit; don’t take credit away from them. They just flat out outplayed us, out-toughed us (and) out-scrapped us.”

MISSOURI 72

SOUTH CAROLINA 67

TableStyle: SP-bkwideplayersCCI Template: SP-bkwideplayers

S.C.

Min

FG-A

FT-A

O-R

A

PF

PT

Thornwell

38

2-11

4-4

0-2

5

2

9

Dozier

26

5-14

2-2

2-4

2

1

12

Carrera

29

4-11

5-6

3-10

0

4

14

Kacinas

15

0-1

0-0

0-2

1

4

0

Silva

13

1-3

2-2

3-6

0

4

4

Notice

36

8-14

0-0

2-6

1

1

21

Chatkevicius

19

1-7

2-2

2-3

0

5

4

Gregory

9

1-2

1-2

0-1

0

1

3

Doby

8

0-3

0-2

1-1

0

0

0

Cobb

5

0-0

0-0

0-1

0

2

0

Stroman

2

0-0

0-0

0-0

1

1

0

TEAM

   

0-3

   

Totals

200

22-66

16-20

13-39

10

25

67

Percentages: FG .333, FT .800. Three-Point Goals: 7-19, .368 (Notice 5-7, Carrera 1-4, Thornwell 1-5, Dozier 0-1, Chatkevicius 0-1, Kacinas 0-1). Blocked Shots: 2 (Kacinas, Carrera). Turnovers: 13 (Chatkevicius 3, Carrera 2, Dozier 2, Silva 2, Gregory, Stroman, Notice, Thornwell). Steals: 6 (Thornwell 2, Dozier 2, Carrera, Kacinas). Technical Fouls: None. Fouled Out: Chatkevicius.

TableStyle: SP-bkwideplayersCCI Template: SP-bkwideplayers

Missouri

Min

FG-A

FT-A

O-R

A

PF

PT

Phillips

22

4-9

5-6

1-7

4

4

15

Wright

31

2-7

5-5

2-7

1

1

11

Puryear

18

0-2

2-2

0-5

0

5

2

VanLeer

32

2-9

0-0

1-3

1

0

4

Rosburg

31

5-8

8-17

2-5

1

2

18

Isabell

18

4-7

2-2

0-2

2

1

10

Gant

18

1-5

0-0

3-6

0

3

2

Walton

14

2-3

5-6

1-3

1

3

10

Woods

9

0-2

0-0

1-3

0

0

0

Barton

5

0-0

0-0

0-0

0

0

0

Allen

2

0-1

0-0

0-1

0

2

0

TEAM

   

2-4

   

Totals

200

20-53

27-38

13-46

10

21

72

Percentages: FG .377, FT .711. Three-Point Goals: 5-21, .238 (Wright 2-4, Phillips 2-5, Walton 1-2, Gant 0-1, Puryear 0-1, Isabell 0-1, VanLeer 0-7). Blocked Shots: 4 (Rosburg, Woods, Gant, Wright). Turnovers: 17 (Wright 5, Phillips 4, Walton 2, Puryear 2, Isabell 2, Gant, VanLeer). Steals: 8 (Phillips 2, Walton 2, Isabell 2, VanLeer, Rosburg). Technical Fouls: None. Fouled Out: Puryear.

Half: Missouri 33-25. Attendance: 5,017. Officials: Lee Cassell, Karl Hess, Tony Henderson.

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