COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – Kassius Robertson had 23 points and Jontay Porter and Jordan Barnett scored 19 apiece as Missouri won its first Southeastern Conference road game in nearly four years with a 79-68 victory at South Carolina on Wednesday night.
Robertson, Porter, the freshman brother of injured star Michael Porter Jr., and Barnett combined 13 of Missouri’s 14 3-pointers. Porter set a career high for the Tigers (11-3, 1-0 SEC), which had lost its past 32 regular-season road games in the league since winning at Arkansas on Jan. 28, 2014.
Missouri’s long-range shooting took care of this one early. It had nine 3s in the opening half to build a 15-point lead and kept the pressure on South Carolina (9-5, 0-2) throughout with its long-range shooting.
Barnett and Jordan Geist each finished 4-point plays for Missouri, which connected on 10-or-more 3s for the 10th time this season.
It was not the home SEC debut South Carolina envisioned. Point guard Hassani Gravett missed his second straight game with a right ankle injury and a Southern ice and snow storm along the coast dropped temperatures into the 20s and kept many fans home.
The Gamecocks closed to 20-19 on Felipe Haase’s 3-pointer with 8:43 left before the half when Missouri took off on a 16-2 run to gain a stronghold it never relinquished. South Carolina got a 21-point deficit to 74-65 on Justin Minaya’s 3-pointer with 2:03 to go.
But Robertson had a layup and two foul shots to keep the Tigers out front.
Chris Silva led the Gamecocks with 18 points.
Missouri: The Tigers came into the game with a program record through 13 games of 123 3-pointers and kept that up against the Gamecocks. Barnett, who’s made 18 3s the past five games, added three more in the opening half as Missouri opened a 16-point lead. Barnett was fouled on one of his long-range baskets and sank the free throw for a 4-point play. If Missouri remains as accurate in the SEC as it was from the outside against South Carolina, it can make some noise in the league race.
South Carolina: The Gamecocks wilted under the pressure of Missouri’s guards. South Carolina’s starting backcourt of Will Myers and Frank Booker were a combined 1-of-8 shooting in the first half for four points. The first guard off the bench, David Beatty, missed all five of his first-half shots. The Tigers in-your-face defense made it near impossible for the Gamecocks to get off crisp passes and set up open looks.
Missouri returns home to face Florida on Saturday.
South Carolina closes a two-game home stand with Vanderbilt on Saturday.
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