Missouri keeps USC on the skids in SEC

Comeback falls short as USC drops sixth straight

The Associated PressJanuary 25, 2014 

S Carolina Missouri Basketball

South Carolina's Brenton Williams, center, shoots as he is guarded by Missouri's Ryan Rosburg, left, and Jabari Brown during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014, in Columbia, Mo.

L.G. PATTERSON — AP

— Jabari Brown gave Missouri another big offensive performance. He was good at sharing, too.

Brown had 24 points, his fourth straight game with 20-plus, and added a career-best six assists to help Missouri handle South Carolina 82-74 on Saturday.

“When it comes down to it, he’s not only making plays for himself, he’s making plays for others,” coach Frank Haith said. “He’s at the top of everybody’s scouting report.”

Jordan Clarkson added 22 points and Earnest Ross added 14 points for the Tigers (15-4, 3-3 SEC), who led by double digits most of the way and kept the Gamecocks (7-12, 0-6) winless in conference play. The winners shot 54 percent and combined for a season-best 18 assists.

Missouri’s big men benefited, with Johnathan Williams III and Ryan Rosburg combining for 16 points and 10 rebounds.

“We just put an emphasis on being a good teammate and sharing the ball,” Clarkson said. “Teams are going to converge on us.”

Brenton Williams had a career-best seven 3-pointers and a season-best 32 points for South Carolina, which has dropped the first six conference games for the first time since a 0-6 start in 1998-99 and is 0-7 on the road. Sindarius Thornwell fouled out late and had 14 points after totaling 50 points the previous two games.

“They did jump on us pretty quick,” Williams said. “We battled back as hard as we could and obviously it wasn’t enough.”

Brown leads the SEC in scoring with an average of about 20 points and was 4 for 6 from 3-point range. He’s 16 for 24 from long range the last four games.

“He don’t miss,” South Carolina coach Frank Martin said. “He don’t miss.”

Missouri is 43-2 at home in three seasons under Haith. Martin picked up one of the wins in 2012 when he was at Kansas State but is 1-6 overall at Missouri.

“We probably need to practice layups,” Martin said.

Michael Carrera scored six of his 16 points in the final 1:46 for South Carolina, including two free throws that cut the deficit to six points with 1:18 to go. Rosburg was 0 for 4 at the line the final 1:29 for Missouri, but Carrera also missed a pair with under a minute left.

“Yeah, we had some slippage, but maybe you want to give South Carolina some credit,” Haith said. “We obviously weren’t as intense, but you’re playing a league game, you’re not going to double up people.”

Carrera added 11 rebounds for the losers. Williams was 9 for 9 at the free-throw line and is 59 for 60 on the season, leading the nation with 98.3 percent accuracy.

He also was 7 for 14 from 3-point range.

“My teammates did a great job finding me, and I just made the shots,” Williams said.

Ross had 12 points and Missouri shot 50 percent in the first half, leading by as many as 20 points and taking a 38-22 cushion into the break. Wesley Clark had a 3-pointer and Ross converted a three-point play to cap a 16-0 run that put Missouri up 38-18 with 1:48 to go.

South Carolina cut the gap to 11 points early in the second half before Missouri answered with eight straight points, including 3-pointers by Clarkson and Brown in a 53-second span.

The Gamecocks waited more than 6 minutes for its first basket while falling behind 11-0 and shot 25.9 percent in the first half.

Thornwell was held to six points in 12 minutes while saddled with two fouls.

The attendance of 12,033 was the largest of the season at Mizzou Arena.

USC matched its program-worst losing streak to start an SEC season (six), set in 1994-95 and matched in 1998-99 (both under coach Eddie Fogler). The streak is also one of the longest in program history, tying six-game SEC skids in four other seasons. The longest SEC losing streak in USC history is nine, set in 1991-92 under coach Steve Newton, the Gamecocks’ first season in the SEC.

USC hosts Texas A&M at 7 p.m. on Wednesday. The Aggies beat the Gamecocks 75-67 in College Station on Jan. 15.

SOUTH CAROLINA (7-12)

Henry 1-6 1-2 3, Carrera 5-10 5-8 16, Thornwell 5-13 3-3 14, Williams 8-16 9-9 32, Notice 1-5 0-0 2, Shaw 0-1 0-0 0, Chatkevicius 2-3 0-0 4, McKie 0-2 0-0 0, Kacinas 0-1 0-0 0, Ringer 0-0 0-0 0, Steele 1-2 0-0 3. Totals 23-59 18-22 74.

MISSOURI (15-4)

Williams, III 3-4 2-5 8, Rosburg 4-5 0-4 8, Clarkson 6-12 8-10 22, Brown 7-13 6-7 24, Ross 5-10 3-3 14, Clark 1-3 2-2 5, Criswell 0-0 1-2 1, Haith 0-0 0-0 0, Rector 0-0 0-0 0, Jones 0-0 0-0 0, Feldmann 0-0 0-0 0, Post 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 26-48 22-33 82.

Halftime_Missouri 38-22. 3-Point Goals_South Carolina 10-26 (Williams 7-14, Carrera 1-2, Steele 1-2, Thornwell 1-6, Notice 0-1, Shaw 0-1), Missouri 8-17 (Brown 4-6, Clarkson 2-5, Ross 1-3, Clark 1-3). Fouled Out_Thornwell. Rebounds_South Carolina 32 (Carrera 11), Missouri 33 (Brown, Clarkson, Williams, III 6). Assists_South Carolina 12 (Thornwell 4), Missouri 18 (Brown 6). Total Fouls_South Carolina 29, Missouri 17. A_12,033.

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