Big second half propels Bulldogs past Tigers
ATHENS, Ga. –A 17-0 run midway through the second half helped the Georgia men’s basketball team earn its first road win of the season, a 60-57 victory against the Missouri Tigers at Mizzou Arena on Wednesday night.
After scoring only 22 points on 31.3-percent shooting in the first half, the Bulldogs exploded for 38 points in the second half shooting 48.3-percent in the final 20 minutes. Georgia (10-6, 3-3) now holds a 5-4 all time record against Missouri (8-10,1-4) including winning the last five meetings between the two teams.
Sophomore Yante Maten led all scorers with 21 points and finished with 12 rebounds for his third double-double of the season. Maten was joined in double-figure scoring by J.J. Frazier and Kenny Gaines with 16 and 11 points, respectively. Forward Houston Kessler ripped down a career-high 10 rebounds.
“We had not won away from home this year,” head coach Mark Fox said. “We needed to get one under out belts and we certainly got one tonight. This will hopefully help us down the road because we did a lot of things that you need to do to win a road game. I was very happy with our performance tonight.”
Despite the Bulldogs’ struggles from the field, Maten was able to keep things going in the first half pouring in nine points. While Georgia couldn’t find its groove on the offensive end, the Bulldogs smothered the Tigers on the defensive end. Missouri was held to just 33.3-percent shooting from the field in the period. Tough defense from both squads resulted in a low-scoring first half and a 22-22 score heading into the break.
Both teams picked up the energy in the second period. After an even first five minutes of the half, the Bulldogs went on a 17-0 run highlighted by several three pointers and a big dunk by Maten leading to a 50-34 Georgia advantage. The Tigers were able to cut the lead to as little as three, but the Bulldogs were able to fight off Missouri’s late second half comeback attempt making clutch free throws down the stretch.
The Bulldogs return home Saturday night to host the Arkansas Razorbacks at 6 p.m. ET at Stegeman Coliseum. The game will be televised on the SEC network.