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Mizzou has 2 conference wins on January 11 for the first time in 6 years

Here are today’s Mizzou Links.

Goodness that was some second-half effort yesterday.

ICYMI, Mizzou played a nearly perfect second half to pull away from Georgia.

COLUMBIA, Mo. - Mizzou Men’s Basketball secured its first home win in SEC play on Wednesday night, using a strong second-half effort to defeat Georgia, 68-56. Despite only scoring 20 points in the first half, head coach Cuonzo Martin’s squad responded in the second frame at Mizzou Arena, scoring 48 points on 57.1 percent shooting. Mizzou took the lead at the 17:46 mark of the second half thanks to a 13-2 run and never trailed after that.

In his first career start, freshman forward Jontay Porter (Columbia, Mo.) tallied the second double-double of his career, posting 15 points and 10 rebounds. Graduate senior guard Kassius Robertson (Toronto, Ontario) scored in double-digits for the sixth-consecutive game, chipping in 15 points on 3-5 shooting from downtown. He is the nation’s scoring leader among graduate transfers at the Power-5 level and has now led Mizzou in scoring seven times this season.

The freshmen were awfully special against stiff competition.

Porter — who earned his first career start to give junior forward Kevin Puryear some peace of mind, Martin said — scored a game-high-tying 15 points and added a game-high 10 rebounds.

He also limited Maten to just nine points on 2-of-8 shooting.

”That’s the most they’ve let the post guys play all year,” Fox said, “and we didn’t respond to it.” [...]

”It just felt like another game, to be honest,” Tilmon said of facing Maten.

The officiating was dialed in about the best possible way for Mizzou.

Michael had a front-row seat to little brother’s most complete game Wednesday. It helped that the game’s officials silenced their whistles most of the night and allowed Porter and fellow freshman forward Jeremiah Tilmon to freely roam the lane. 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.

“You know, that’s the most (the officials have) let their post guys play all year and we didn’t respond to it,” Georgia coach Mark Fox said. “It’s the most physical they let them play Their guys had their way with us.”

Fox basically called out his star.

“Give their team defense credit, Yante has been a great player, he was not a great player tonight,” Fox said. “Their defense deserves some credit for that, but not all. He has been a great player, but tonight he didn’t respond to the challenge.”

Jordan Barnett finally cooled off, but Mizzou found ways to score anyway.

Barnett made just two of seven shots from the field and one of five three-pointers. That could have sank Missouri. In the first half, when the Tigers were 8 of 30 from the field, it seemed it might.

But then Tilmon and Porter became Mizzou’s go-to players. All 10 of Tilmon’s points came in the second half.

It’s January 11, and Mizzou now has two conference wins. For some perspective, here’s when Mizzou got its second conference win in recent years:

  • 2017: February 11 (Mizzou finished 2-16)
  • 2016: February 13 (the third win came on February 16)
  • 2015: February 24 (the third win came on March 3)
  • 2014: January 18 (the third win came on January 25)
  • 2013: January 16 (the third win came on January 22)
  • 2012: January 11 (the third win came no January 14)

Mizzou will have a chance for SEC win No. 3 on Saturday evening at Arkansas. Mike Anderson’s Razorbacks got absolutely trucked at home by LSU last night, 75-54, so I’m guessing they’ll be playing with their hair on fire on Saturday.

More Links:

  • Reed Nikko, outdoorsy guy.
  • New PAPN! We talk about the national title game, the ways in which college football needs to do some offseason soul searching ... and how Mizzou’s 2018 schedule is bruuuutal.