By Shane Gravlin
When Mizzou hoops flew to Columbia, South Carolina, they knew they had to turn it around. Even though they had been without their anchor center Jeremiah Tilmon, Mizzou was playing some embarrassing basketball, but that changed with a 93-78 win over a conference opponent on the road.
Senior Jeremiah Tilmon had missed the last two games because of a personal matter, and Mizzou had lost three in a row prior to their matchup with the Gamecocks, so the general feeling and vibe surrounding the team was iffy and questionable. The Tigers got dismantled by an average-at-best Ole Miss team, then struggled against an Arkansas group that they had previously defeated, before dropping a third straight against a mediocre Georgia squad.
Then, against the Gamecocks, the Tigers reassured fans that they’re still a team to be reckoned with, and just maybe made a strong enough case that they should remain ranked in the top 25. Mizzou controlled the game and won by double digits, earning a season sweep over South Carolina.
All five starters for Mizzou finished with at least 12 points, and Mizzou had a comfortable lead by halftime. South Carolina got within single digits in the second half, but not before Mizzou stepped on the gas again to create some separation in the scoring, which was accelerated by their efficient free throw shooting. The big man Tilmon is not known for his free throw conversion ability, but the 6’10” center made all seven free throws that he took, a sign that he kept his composure today.
Mizzou as a whole kept their composure, too, especially when AJ Lawson for South Carolina started to hit shots to shrink the lead. Often in that scenario, Mizzou panics and starts to turn it over frequently, but that didn’t happen against South Carolina, as the Tigers only fumbled it over nine times.
The Tigers are now 14-6 overall and 7-6 in conference play, sitting at sixth in the SEC now out of 14 teams. Alabama sits at the top and Vanderbilt at the bottom. Mizzou’s next game will be a rematch with the Ole Miss Rebels, who beat the Tigers by 21 in their first meeting.
After that, Mizzou will only play two more regular season games before travelling to Nashville for the SEC tournament and then hopefully to Indianapolis for March Madness.
Edited by Tyler Kading