Missouri men's basketball trounces South Carolina at home
Prior to Saturday's matchup against the South Carolina Gamecocks, the Missouri men's basketball had lost four straight games. The Tigers were looking to avoid a fifth straight loss against Frank Martin's struggling Gamecocks.
The Tigers who suffered a loss earlier in the season to the Gamecocks in Columbia, South Carolina, 85-75, rebounded on Saturday, recording their 13th win of the season, defeating South Carolina, 78-63.
Missouri got out to a hot start within the first few minutes of the game. Javon Pickett scored the first points of the game with a three pointer to give the Tigers a 3-0 lead early.
South Carolina though kept it close, courtesy of a Keyshawn Bryant dunk, to bring the Gamecocks within one of Missouri, 5-4 with 16:59 to play in the first half.
Few minutes later, Missouri's Torrence Watson got it going from long range, sinking the long range three to push the Tigers lead to five, 14-9 with just under 12 minutes left in the half.
The Gamecocks struggled to score early on, but got it going with about 10 minutes to play in the first half, scoring six consecutive points, to inch closer to Missouri's lead.
Watson again got the three ball to fall with just over three minutes left in the first half. Missouri went into halftime up 29-25 over South Carolina.
Tigers came out strong in the second half, scoring seven straight points, increasing their lead to 10, 37-27 with 17:38 to play.
Missouri maintained a 10 point lead for most of the second half. The Tigers really started to pull away with just over 10 minutes to play. Pickett, who tallied nine points for Missouri, knocked down another three, increasing the Tigers lead to 13, 52-39 with 10 minutes left in regulation.
Late in the game, Watson buried back-to-back three's for the Tigers and South Carolina was never able to claw its way back.
Watson finished with a career high 20 points. Kevin Puryear added in 18 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists for the Tigers.
Missouri will travel to Georgia next Wednesday and then will return home next Saturday for the Tigers final home game of the season against Mississippi.