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Live Game Thread: Mizzou looks to put a mark in the win column as South Carolina comes to town

Still in search for that first conference victory, Mizzou host an improved South Carolina team

NCAA Basketball: Missouri at Kentucky Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports

South Carolina 71, Missouri 69 (Final)

1st Half

  • Starters for Mizzou: Aidan Shaw, Nick Honor, Noah Carter, Sean East II, and Tamar Bates.
  • Starters for South Carolina: B.J Mack, Collin Murray-Boyles, Meechie Johnson, Myles Stute, and Ta’lon Cooper.
  • 0-3 start from the field for Mizzou. South Carolina is 3-3 on the end. South Carolina leads 7-0.
  • Tamar Bates scores first for the Tigers. 7-2 South Carolina.
  • Bates again. Jesus Carralero Martin finds him underneath the basket for a pair more.
  • Carralero Martin recorded his first bucket. The Gamecocks lead is cut to six at the under 16 timeout.
  • Carralero Martin again. 11-8 ballgame.
  • Following a Noah Carter dunk, Nick Honor recorded a steal to put Mizzou ahead 12-11. It’s the Tigers first lead.
  • Following a Myles Stute bucket on a wild sequence, Noah Carter drew a foul on the other end. One free throw is good, and the game is all tied up at 13.
  • Connor Vanover added a dunk for his first points. After South Carolina took the lead back, Nick Honor added a finger roll layup to tie it at 17.
  • Mizzou is 0-9 from behind the arc early but trails South Carolina by just two points.
  • Sean East II beat the buzzer with a running layup. We are all tied up at 21.
  • A nice pass by John Tonje to Noah Carter underneath the bucket gives Mizzou its second lead of the afternoon. Tigers lead 23-21.
  • Following a B.J Mack score, Sean East II knocked down his first 3-pointer giving Mizzou its largest lead of the afternoon at three. Nick Honor will be shooting free throws out of the TV timeout.
  • Honor knocks down 1-of-2 free throws. Mizzou leads 27-23.
  • Free throws by East extends the lead to five. Mizzou has shot six free throws compared to the Gamecocks two.
  • Meechie Johnson cut the lead to one with a 3-pointer but Tamar Bates was fouled on the other end going up for a layup. Mizzou leads 31-28 with under two to play.
  • South Carolina regained the lead with a Ta’lon Cooper dunk, but a fadeaway by Bates gave him his eighth point while putting MU back ahead.

Second Half

  • Tamar Bates opens up the scoring in the second half for Mizzou. 35-32 lead for the Tigers.
  • Ta’lon Cooper responds with a 3-pointer. Tied up at 35.
  • Noah Carter knocks down a 3-pointer. His first of the afternoon. Mizzou is 25-7 when he makes at-least one 3-pointer.
  • B.J Mack made it a one-score game with a pair of free throws. Connor Vanover responded with a 3-pointer. Lead is still four for the Tigers.
  • A Jacobi Wright 3-pointer briefly pulled the Gamecocks within one, but East came in clutch on the other end with a floater. He has nine points.
  • Anthony Robinson II splashes a 3-pointer for his first points, which is followed up with a B.J Mack triple.
  • A Noah Carter layup extends the lead back to five. Carter has a team high 14 points.
  • It might be a nail biter, but things seem to be going Mizzou’s way. Tigers lead by three with under four to play.
  • Jesus Carralero Martin made a magnificent save leading to a Sean East II bucket. Tigers lead by five and Mizzou Arena is on its feet.
  • A controversial foul is called on Mizzou’s Noah Carter. South Carolina knocks down a free throw and its a one-point game with a minute to play.
  • Sean East II knocks down a pair of free throws. Three-point game.
  • And South Carolina ties it up at 62.
  • OVERTIME: Missouri 62, South Carolina 62.

Overtime

  • South Carolina takes the lead off of a pair of free throws.
  • A foul of Carralero Martin leads to more free throws and more points. He fouls out. South Carolina is up five.
  • Carter knocks down a pair of free throws. SC lead cut to 69-66.
  • Noah Carter ties it up at 69.
  • Jacobi Wright gives SC the lead back with 7 seconds to play.

Final: South Carolina 71, Missouri 69


Pregame Updates


Preview

Tuesday night was both frustrating and a bit encouraging at the same time. Missouri lost once again for the fifth time in the last six games. In their 90-77 loss to Kentucky, the Tigers kept it close for the most part, but it wasn’t good enough in the end. The loss dropped Mizzou to 8-7 on the year, and the team is in danger of being .500 in January for the first time since 2022.

The same night wasn’t pretty for South Carolina either. Alabama took it to the Gamecocks in Tuscaloosa by handing them a 74-47 loss. The blowout loss doesn’t take away from South Carolina’s start this season. South Carolina is off to a 13-2 start with victories over Mississippi State and Virginia Tech. The Gamecocks haven’t won in Columbia since 2017, and Mizzou will be looking to keep it that way in search of its first conference victory.


Game Info

Time: 2:30 PM CT

Date: Jan. 13, 2024

Location: Mizzou Arena, Columbia, Mo.

TV: SEC Network


Projected Starters

Mizzou

G: Nick Honor (Grad, 10.7 PPG)

G: Sean East II (Grad, 17.3 PPG)

F: Aidan Shaw (Soph, 4.0 PPG)

F: Noah Carter (Grad, 12.1 PPG)

F: Tamar Bates (Jr, 10.7 PPG)

Notable Sixth Man: Anthony Robinson II (Fr, 4.6 PPG)

South Carolina

G: Myles Stute (Jr, 10.2 PPG)

G: Ta’Lon Cooper (Sr, 9.1 PPG)

G: Meechie Johnson (Jr, 18 PPG)

F: B.J. Mack (Grad, 12.9 PPG)

F: Stephen Clark (Grad, 3 PPG)

Notable Sixth Man: Collin Murray-Boyles (Fr, 6.2 PPG)

*These are projected starters. Also, in today’s college basketball, positions rarely mean much. Those are included purely for perspective on what matchups on the court may look like.


Get to know South Carolina

NCAA Basketball: Mississippi State at South Carolina Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

South Carolina coach Lamont Paris has the program heading in the right direction. He went 11-21 last season with the Gamecocks and has already exceeded the team’s previous win total. Prior to arriving in Columbia, SC. he spent five seasons as the head man in Chatanooga, where he built steady growth with the Mocs and, in his last season, had the program in the NCAA Tournament. Paris has had tenures as an assistant at Wisconsin (2010-2017), Akron (2005-10), IUP (2001-04), DePauw (1999-00), and his alma mater Wooster (1997-98), where he was a two-time All-North Coast Athletic Conference player.

KenPom has South Carolina (64th) ahead of Missouri (105th). The Gamecocks offense adjusted efficiency rating ranks 66th and 76th on the defensive side. They rank top 100 nationally in 3-point attempts (69th) and make (86th). Defensively, they’ve allowed 63.7 points per, which is tied for 26th in the nation with Rutgers. Even in its two losses (Clemson and Alabama), South Carolina allowed under 75 points. Virginia Tech currently has the most points against the Gamecocks with 77.

NCAA Basketball: Mississippi State at South Carolina Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

Meechie Johnson took over for Gregory Jackson II as the star for South Carolina. He’s averaging 18 points per game, which includes six 20-point performances. The 6-foot-2 guard is also the team’s second-leading rebounder with 4.2 boards per contest, just behind Wofford transfer, 6-foot-8 forward B.J. Mack, who averages 5.2 rebounds per game to go along with 12.9 points.

Johnson tallied nine points in the Gamecocks 83-74 loss at Mizzou Arena last season. But he also grabbed five rebounds while dishing out five assists.

Their best player is Meechie Johnson, he had a great game here last season, and he’s done a tremendous job for his team as he leads them in scoring as well as other categories,” — Dennis Gates on Jan. 12, 2024.

Another player who played at Mizzou Arena last season was Myles Stute, who was a member of Vanderbilt before transferring. While he tallied just two points in Vanderbilt’s 85-82 loss, he’s having one of his best collegiate seasons, being a double-digit per night scorer to go along with four rebounds and a little over an assist per game. He was a non-factor against Alabama, putting zero points on the stat sheet, but in the four games prior, he recorded double-digit totals, including 15 points in the Gamecocks SEC opener against Mississippi State. Stute also leads the team with 1.9 3-pointers per game on a 38.9% clip from behind the arc.

Ta’Lon Cooper came from the Twin Cities, where he played for Ben Johnson’s Minnesota Golden Gophers. Prior to that he spent a trio of seasons at Morehead State. He’s been an instant impact for the Gamecocks leading the team in assists with 4.4 per contest. Stephen Clark has made 15 starts after transferring from The Citadel, and freshman 4-star recruit Collin Murray-Boyles has made an impact off the bench, averaging 6.2 per game.


3 Keys To The Game

#1 Bench scoring is going to be important here

It’s been an alarming issue the past couple games. Between the Georgia and Kentucky game combined, Mizzou has tallied 13 bench points in games where its scored 68 and 77 points. On the other hand the Bulldogs recorded 23 while the Wildcats posted 26. Dennis Gates on Friday said he was pleased with the plus-minus of guys such as Jesus Carralero-Martin, John Tonje and Mabor Majak, but he also said “We have to distribute our points in a better way. We need guys to play better.” Of course, the Tigers are going to get good offensive showings out of Sean East II, Tamar Bates, and Noah Carte, but it’s nice to have other offensive threats off the bench. Hopefully, with Anthony Robinson II returning, that area will be improved

#2 Don’t let this team get hot from behind the arc

As mentioned above Stute can fire away from behind the arc. Johnson can as well, as he leads the team with 30 3-pointers off a 34.9% percentage. Both Mack and Cooper can also execute from 3-point land. Whether it’s Seton Hall, who wasn’t known for making 3s, Illinois, or Georgia, Mizzou has let teams knock down the 3-ball willingly. Let’s just say it would be nice to see a team come into Mizzou Arena and get into a slump.

#3 It starts with communication

Defensively, Mizzou has allowed 90, 75, 97 and 93 in four of the previous five. While the offense has been okay the defense is far from a finished product. Jesus Carralero-Martin noted that particular phase of the game is something that needs to improve over the next couple of months.

On what he thinks the team needs to better in SEC play: “We got to play more together. We got to get more pass counts. Defensively we got to do a better job. We haven’t gotten there yet. Our communication has got to be better in games. I feel like it’s more on the defensive side than the offensive side.”

Game Prediction

KenPom Prediction: South Carolina 71, Missouri 70

My Prediction: South Carolina 84, Missouri 80

You get to return home to face a team that got blown out by 27 points. Great. We haven’t seen this team play a close-to-complete game against a quality opponent since Wichita State. It seems that this team is so close but also still a tier below being able to compete for a full 40 minutes in the SEC. Mizzou will probably have the lead at some point throughout this game, the arena will be loud, but that also means the rough stretches and repetitive issues will show up once again. Mizzou keeps it close but falls to 0-3 in conference play.