Cardiac Tigers: Mizzou advances past Georgia to reach SEC Tournament quarterfinals
Keyed by a 14-2 run in the second half, Missouri pulled away and held on for a 73-70 win over Georgia in the second round of the SEC Tournament in Nashville. In trademark Mizzou fashion of late, the Tigers hit a drought where they missed 6 straight shots as Georgia pulled back in the game.
That jolt of a second half was kickstarted by a 3-pointer to beat the buzzer before halftime by Xavier Pinson after Mizzou forced a Georgia turnover. Then, in the waning seconds of the game, Mizzou got the benefit of a Georgia lane violation by Justin Kier on a foul shot attempt. But then Kier responded with a 3-pointer to pull the Bulldogs within a point with 8.2 seconds remaining.
Mizzou will now meet Arkansas on Friday in the quarterfinals.
“I think we like to make it interesting for the fans,” Mizzou coach Cuonzo Martin said on the SEC Network after the game.
It’s a stark contrast to last year’s conference tournament.
A year ago, Mizzou arrived in Nashville as the No. 10 seed, and looked to avenge a pair of regular-season losses against No. 7 seed Texas A&M. But the game was never started as the SEC canceled the remainder of the tournament that morning because of the coronavirus pandemic after playing first-round games the day before.
Mizzou’s Dru Smith, recently named to the All-SEC first team and defensive team, had 16 points alongside Kobe Brown, while Jeremiah Tilmon, a second-team all-conference pick, contributed 10 points and 6 rebounds. Smith made his SEC Tournament debut tonight, and scored 10 of the Tigers’ 12 points during a three-minute stretch in the second half. Pinson poured in a game-high 17 points.
It’ll be the third meeting against the Razorbacks. The Tigers won at Arkansas, and lost at home in a game it played without Tilmon.
— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) March 12, 2021