Missouri races past Georgia in second half

DENVER CO- JANUARY 10 Ersan Ilyasova #7 of the Atlanta Hawks dunks the ball during the game against the Denver Nuggets

Missouri made 57.1 percent of its shots in the second half after hitting 26.7 percent of them in the first half.

Missouri freshman forward Jontay Porter put the Tigers on the board first with a jumper, but Georgia quickly responded within the first minute, claiming the 4-2 lead from consecutive layups from senior forward Derek Ogbeide and freshman forward Rayshaun Hammonds.

Robertson added 15 points for the Tigers. They needed to against Georgia, one of the country's best teams at defending the three. "I'm really proud of him".

Michael had a front-row seat to little brother's most complete game Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Tilmon's newfound availability opened up another double-digit performance, and junior Jordan Geist added 10 in his second straight game starting at point guard after the loss of Harris. 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. "We let the post guys have our way with us". The first-half deficit reached as many as seven points, but the Tigers kept it a one-possession game into the intermission despite a 27 percent shooting mark.

Mizzou held Georgia's leading scorer, Yante Maten, to just nine points on 2-8 shooting. The Bulldogs shot just 38 percent from the field. "Tonight he didn't respond to the challenge really". I told him tonight, 'You didn't play well and you've got to accept responsibility for it. You have to get their team credit.

Martin was careful not to build up the matchup with too much drama before the game, knowing his two freshman forwards would have to trade blows Maten from the opening tip.

"They embraced the challenge", Martin said.

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"Just doing what they're supposed to do". They feel like I'm just as good as the other guy.

Missouri's reputation as a hot-or-cold shooting team furthered early on with a 1-for-9 start from beyond the arc that helped yield six points in the first 9 ½ minutes.

"The one thing about those two, it's just basketball", Martin said.

It set the Tigers up with a 2-and-1 record as they head to Fayetteville on Saturday to face an Arkansas team licking its wounds after a 75-54 throttling at home by LSU.

A late couple of buckets in the first half from Missouri cut the Georgia lead to 23-20 and prevented the Tigers from recording their lowest scoring output in a half this season. It was the first time Mizzou had led since the score was 2-0.

Martin did so often Wednesday night - in the second half, that is. Two dunks from Tilmon tied the game, and an up-and-under layup from Porter gave Missouri the lead. The Tigers wouldn't trail again.

The Bulldogs got within two with a 10-2 run, but Robertson personally nixed the surge with a 3-pointer, a transition dunk off a steal in the backcourt and another 3.

Georgia went 12 deep against Missouri and distributed the minutes quite a bit.

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