Georgia basketball came from 13 points down in the second half to get its first success over a positioned rival this season, besting No. 20 Missouri 80-70.
It’s the first time the Bulldogs (13-8, 6-8 SEC) have come from behind at the half to win against a SEC rival, and they did it against a veteran Tigers team (13-6, 6-6) at Stegeman Coliseum on Tuesday night.
Justin Kier scored 16 points on 6-of-7 shooting to lead the five Bulldogs who scored in double figures.
“We came out today and really attacked,” Kier said. “I’m proud of this team.”
Toumani Camara turned in another clutch performance with 15 points on 8 bounce back, remembering a critical put-back and free throw for an And One after K.D. Johnson missed from the free-throw line with the game tied 62-62 and 4:55 leftover.
“It was desperation,” Camara said. “We had lost two games, and we were hungry.
“That’s how we should play every time, and there should not be a question about that.”
Camara’s basket and free-throw gave the Bulldogs the lead for great, as it started a 16-2 run.
Sahvir Wheeler (12 points, 6 assists) depleted a 3-pointer on Georgia’s next trip down the floor to stretch out the UGA lead to 68-62 at the 4:19 mark and the Bulldogs were making excellent progress so far.
Johnson scored each of the 10 of his points in the final 9:21, including a drive to the basket that tied the game at 53-53 after the Tigers had opened the second half on a 11-0 race to build a 13-point advantage.
Walk-on Jackson Etter was another key player, falling off the seat to score 9 points, yet additionally, making 2 steals and drawing 3 fouls on a night UGA worked itself into the bonus with over 13 minutes left.
Andrew Garcia had 13 points, and the Bulldogs outscored Missouri by 24 when he was on the floor.
The Bulldogs shot 54.2 percent in the second half, including 5 of 6 beyond the 3-point mark over the last 20 minutes.
Missouri had opened the second half on a 11-0 run, taking a 48-35 lead on Dru Smith’s layup.
The Bulldogs, in any case, replied with a 13-2 rush to pull back to 50-48 on Jackson Etter’s 3-pointer from the corner at the 11:17 mark. Under two minutes after the fact, Johnson’s drive tied it up.
Missouri held a 37-33 lead at halftime after the two teams battled shooting.
The Tigers were 14-of-34 shooting and 3-15 from three, while the Bulldogs were 13-29 and 2-9, the lead changing hands seven times.
Georgia gets back to activity at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday at Florida. The Bulldogs lost to the Gators at home 92-84 on Jan. 23.
Florida lost at Arkansas on Tuesday night, 75-64.
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