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Big Second Half Lifts Mizzou over Georgia

Big Second Half Lifts Mizzou over Georgia

Georgia started strong Wednesday night in SEC play against Missouri, but the Bulldogs couldn't keep up their pace in a road game. The Bulldogs were unable to find a rhythm with their star player, nor were they able to get him the necessary touches he needs.

The Tigers did so. Georgia cut a second half, 10-point deficit to two on Rayshaun Hammonds' 3-pointer, but the Tigers went on a 7-0 run thanks to 3-pointers from Kassius Robertson and Kevin Puryear with six minutes left, and Missouri widened its lead to 15 before sealing the victory.

Missouri's reputation as a hot-or-cold shooting team furthered early on with a 1-for-9 start from beyond the arc that helped yield six points in the first 9 ½ minutes. But Porter, just two months past his 18th birthday, rewarded Cuonzo Martin's trust with one of his most complete games and outplayed the Bulldogs' veteran, finishing with 15 points, 10 rebounds, three blocks and two steals in a career-high 32 minutes. That could have sunk Missouri.

In the first half, both teams struggled from the field. The towering rookies led Mizzou's charge out of the locker room and out of a three-point halftime deficit with their most aggressive play in weeks, perhaps all season. All 10 of Tilmon's points came in the second half. That meant the 6-foot-11 Porter, making his first start, played alongside the 6-foot-10 Tilmon for decent chunks of this win.

Missouri had a size advantage few teams possess, and the Tigers used it on both ends of the court. They needed to against Georgia, one of the country's best teams at defending the three. But they were OK anyway. This is a team that, while improved in this area, has been prone to giving up the basketball. "Now there's a layup or you got these wing guys and I just feel like our bigs haven't been running lately". "He's guaranteed to knock the shot down".

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That's what most people expected of Porter's older brother, fellow freshman Michael Porter Jr., who shared the preseason player of the year honors with Maten but hasn't played since the opening minutes of Mizzou's first game and continues to recover from back surgery.

With the win, Mizzou (12-4, 2-1 SEC) ended a six-game losing streak to the Bulldogs (11-4, 2-2) and strut into Saturday's showdown at Arkansas (11-5, 1-3) with some restored confidence. In the second half, things changed dramatically. He forced up an ugly shot, and Tilmon grabbed one of his three rebounds. "Yante's been a good player". He was not a good player tonight. Their defense deserves some credit for that. By the end of the night, Yante Maten was the third best big man on the floor.

One reason why: When Porter begins games on the bench, he will often sub in early for Tilmon.

"This is as physical a game as we've probably had all year", Georgia head coach Mark Fox said. "And they didn't respond well". "It's the most physical they let them play Their guys had their way with us". The Tigers then went on another run, this time 15-4, and that gave them command.


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