COLUMBIA, Mo. – Mizzou Men’s Basketball picked up its fourth conference win of the season Saturday afternoon, defeating South Carolina 78-63 at Mizzou Arena. Freshman Torrence Watson starred for the Tigers, pouring in a career-high 20 points, including four 3-pointers. The Tigers made their presence felt on the glass, outrebounding the Gamecocks, 39-27. Mizzou has outrebounded its opponent 21 times in 28 games this season.
Following a back and forth opening few minutes, the Tigers went on a 7-0 run after senior forward Kevin Puryear converted consecutive jumpers. Mizzou would lead the rest of the way as the Tigers held South Carolina to their second-worst scoring half of the season in the opening period. The Gamecocks managed just 25 first-half points while shooting 10-of-30 from the field.
South Carolina cut the lead to 58-54 with 5:54 remaining in the second half, but Watson responded with two dagger three-pointers to seal Mizzou’s 15-point victory heading into the final week of the SEC regular season.
With 5:26 remaining in the game, Watson converted back-to-back threes after South Carolina cut the game to just four points. Junior forward Reed Nikko followed with a thunderous dunk to stretch the Tigers’ lead out to 10, and head coach Cuonzo Martin’s squad cruised in the final two minutes. Puryear converted a three-point play with just over a minute remaining, pushing Mizzou’s advantage out to 15.