Missouri ends four-game skid with 72-69 win over Georgia

Missouri ends four-game skid with 72-69 win over Georgia
Missouri's Javon Pickett (4) heads to the basket past Georgia's Rayshaun Hammonds (20) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2020, in Columbia, Mo. Missouri won 72-69. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Missouri overcame a 20-point deficit in the second half to defeat Georgia 72-69 on Tuesday night in Columbia, ending a four-game losing streak.

The Bulldogs (11-9, 1-6 Southeastern Conference) jumped to an early lead, largely in part to star freshman Anthony Edwards (18 points per game), who scored 14 in the first half alone to put Georgia ahead 42-30 at halftime.

Then, as Georgia’s offense lagged, Missouri (10-10, 2-5) woke up. Guard Xavier Pinson scored 16 points in the last 14 minutes of the game, almost single-handedly fueling a comeback. Missouri forward Reed Nikko reached a career high with 13 points, 11 of which came in the second half.

Leading by two with nine seconds left, Nikko blocked a potential game-tying jump shot from Edwards.

Edwards played every minute of the game, finishing with 23 points. Georgia’s Tyree Crump and Toumani Camara scored 13 and 12, respectively.

Missouri ran into foul trouble early, finishing the first half with 12. Mitchell Smith and Nikko both finished the game with four.

The Tigers held leading Georgia rebounder Rayshaun Hammonds to one off the glass. Hammonds had averaged 8.1 rebounds per game prior to facing Missouri.

BIG PICTURE

Missouri wins: After a sleepy start, the team’s late comeback proved enough to break the losing streak and avoid a second straight home loss. Nikko’s offensive production was key, as the team has struggled offensively without forward Jeremiah Tilmon, who hasn’t played since Jan. 4 because of a foot injury.

Georgia loses: Even with 23 points from Edwards, the Bulldogs’ offense went cold when the Tigers started their comeback. Georgia scored eight points in the last 12 minutes of the game.

UP NEXT

Missouri: The Tigers will head to Columbia, South Carolina, to face the Gamecocks on Saturday.

Georgia: The Bulldogs will continue their SEC play against Texas A&M on Saturday at home.

___

For more AP college basketball coverage: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and http://twitter.com/AP_Top25