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Kobe Brown's big second half fuels Missouri to victory over South Carolina

 Rory Whetstone   in Basketball

Missouri (18-6, 6-5 Southeastern Conference) continued their dominance against South Carolina (8-16, 1-9 Southeastern Conference) by scoring their third win in a row against the Gamecocks at Mizzou Arena in an 83-74 victory. 

The Tigers were led by Kobe Brown, who notched 19 points and eight rebounds, while Sean East II added 15 points. GG Jackson (23 points) and Hayden Brown (19 points, 6 rebounds) led the way for the Gamecocks.

Missouri came out roaring to start the game with an alley-oop from Nick Honor to Noah Carter. The Gamecocks were able to respond quickly and kept the game close, even grabbing a short-lasting lead about midway through the first half. The rest of the game would remain tight until the Tigers pulled away in the second half.

Four players reached double digits in scoring, with Kobe Brown pulling off a monster second half to secure the win for the Tigers. 

The Gamecocks have now lost eight games in a row and fall to 1-10 in SEC play. Their only conference win came at Rupp Arena against Kentucky.

Magic Numbers

The lucky number for Missouri this season is 70. While they average about 81.9 points per game, if they the Tigers hit 70 points, they are in the clear. 

Missouri moved to 17-0 this season when hitting that mark, and when held under 70 points, they're just 1-6.

Some more lucky numbers for Missouri are 8 and 33.3%. 

When the Tigers hit at least eight triples in a game, they are unbeaten. They were able to knock down 12 shots from 3-point land against the Gamecocks. Additionally, Missouri is undefeated when they make at least 33.3% of their 3-point attempts. They are shooting 35.4% from beyond the arc this season and shot 48 percent against South Carolina.

Brown vs. Brown

Both teams' top contributors tonight came from players with the last name Brown - Kobe Brown for Missouri and Hayden Brown for South Carolina. 

While Hayden wasn’t South Carolina’s top scorer he had a great presence on the floor, shooting 50% from the field. The best part of his game came early on with his defense against Kobe Brown. His defense saw Missouri head coach Dennis Gates pull Kobe a few times in the first half, limiting him just five points. His first point didn’t come until eight minutes into the game.

In the second half, South Carolina changed their defensive matchups, and Hayden wasn’t seen as frequently. Kobe used this to his advantage and dropped 14 points in the second half. 

No Mosley

Missouri fans were a bit worried when Isiaih Mosley didn't play. Gates addressed his absence after the game. 

“We had a conversation before the game and we both felt that it was great to just take this one off," Gates said. 

Mosley’s offensive contribution was greatly missed as it took a while for Missouri to build a strong lead during the game. However, this ‘strong’ lead was only about eight points. Overall, the Tigers ended up converting on just over 50% of their shots from the field, but once again had a great game from the 3-point line. 

One of Missouri’s offensive highlights was their 18 points off of 14 forced turnovers. It continues to be one of their defense’s greatest abilities, and they need it since rebounding is still an issue.

In the Future

Missouri’s next game is against No. 6 Tennessee on Saturday at Thompson-Boling Arena. 

The Tigers currently have three Quad 1 wins and are looking to reach four with a win against the Vols, who rank second in the NCAA's NET rankings.