Tough night in Georgia for Tigers

Missouri falls to Bulldogs

Kenny Gaines of Georgia steals the ball from Jabari Brown of Missouri (left) during Tuesday night’s game in Athens, Ga.

Kenny Gaines of Georgia steals the ball from Jabari Brown of Missouri (left) during Tuesday night’s game in Athens, Ga. Photo by The Associated Press.

ATHENS, Ga. — Charles Mann scored 19 points, Marcus Thornton added 15 and Georgia won its second straight game with a 71-56 victory against Missouri on Tuesday night.

“That was a really, a hard fought game,” Georgia head coach Mark Fox said. “Missouri has a really good basketball team. They have such a good team that our team had a great respect for them so we were very ready to play.

“We defended very, very well. We didn’t rebound like we had hoped, but our defense was good. And I thought offensively, we shot the ball pretty well and played a pretty complete game.”

The Bulldogs (16-11, 10-5 Southeastern Conference) have won six of seven.

Jabari Brown and Jordan Clarkson each finished with 17 points for Missouri (19-9, 7-8 SEC), but the duo combined to go 9-of-29 from the floor. Johnathan Williams III added 10 points, while Ryan Rosburg pulled down a game-high 12 rebounds.

The Tigers, coming off Saturday’s dispirited loss at Alabama, might have hurt their chance of making a sixth straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament.

Georgia, which went just 6-6 in nonconference play, began the SEC schedule by snapping Missouri’s 26-game home winning streak Jan. 8, is alone in third place in the SEC behind No. 1 Florida and No. 17 Kentucky.

Missouri dropped into a tie for 10th place with Vanderbilt.

The Tigers’ last lead came on Brown’s layup midway through the first half. That put the Tigers ahead 16-15 with 9:14 to go before halftime. Missouri was outscored 16-6 over the final nine minutes, as Georgia took a 31-22 advantage into halftime.

Mann opened up the second half with a straightaway 3, and Juwan Parker’s three-point play a couple of minutes later gave Georgia its first double-digit lead at 37-26.

Despite outrebounding the Bulldogs, Missouri struggled in nearly every other facet of the game, missing 15 of its first 16 attempts beyond the arc, getting outscored 38-18 in the paint and 11-2 on fast breaks.

Georgia’s Kenny Gaines, coming off career-high 27 points at South Carolina, finished with 10 points.

The Tigers dropped to 2-6 in SEC road games. They finished 2-7 on the road in their first SEC season last year.

Missouri’s defense has really struggled in the last two games. Georgia, which began the night with the SEC’s worst field-goal shooting percentage in league games, shot 52.1 percent from the field. Missouri finished just 17-of-53 from the field, good for 32.1 percent. The Tigers went 3-of-18 from 3-point range.

The Tigers let Alabama shoot 54.7 percent last weekend — the Crimson Tide’s highest percentage against a Division I team in five years.

Missouri returns home for a 12:30 p.m. contest against Mississippi State at Mizzou Arena.

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