COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Jontay Porter had 15 points and 10 rebounds in his first career start, and Missouri overcame a sluggish start to defeat Georgia 68-56 on Wednesday night.
Georgia cut a second half, 10-point deficit to two on Rayshaun Hammonds’ 3-pointer, but the Tigers went on a 7-0 run thanks to 3-pointers from Kassius Robertson and Kevin Puryear with six minutes left, and Missouri (12-4, 2-1 Southeastern Conference) widened its lead to 15 before sealing the victory.
Robertson added 15 points for the Tigers. Jeremiah Tilmon and Jordan Geist chipped in 10 points apiece and Puryear finished with nine.
William Jackson III and Tyree Crump each had 10 points to lead Georgia (11-4, 2-2).
Missouri shot 2 of 8 and Georgia 3 for 7 in the first five minutes. The Bulldogs hung on to a 7-4 early lead off a 3-pointer from Jackson.
Stagnant play continued for both teams, though Georgia held the lead through halftime. It took the Tigers 11 minutes to make a jump shot, as Robertson drilled a corner 3 that tied the game at 11.
The Bulldogs were only shooting 30 percent midway through the first half. With less than three minutes left before intermission, the teams were a combined for 12-of-49 shooting from the field.
An entirely different Missouri team showed up in the second half.
First, the Tigers started scoring. Two dunks from Tilmon tied the game, and an up-and-under layup from Porter gave Missouri the lead.
Then, the Tigers shut down Georgia with a 13-2 run to open the second half, and Porter held Georgia’s 6-foot-8 forward, Yante Maten, to 1 of 5 field goals midway through the second half. Maten finished with nine points.
Georgia: Georgia showed its shooting could hang on in the SEC in the first half, but as soon as Missouri increased the tempo, the Bulldogs ran dry and ceased to compete.
Missouri: The Tigers showed an epic second-half turnaround, scoring 48 points against the Bulldogs, who lead the SEC in scoring defense and field goal defense. Now all Missouri needs to do is find that scoring in the first half.
Georgia hosts South Carolina on Saturday.
Missouri travels to face Arkansas on Saturday.