The Missouri basketball team got 18 points apiece from Jordan Barnett and Jordan Geist and turned in one of its better shooting performances of the season on Wednesday night at Mississippi State but it wasn’t enough.
The host Bulldogs overcame a four-point halftime deficit and pulled away in the second half for an 89-74 Southeastern Conference victory at Humphrey Coliseum.
“Obviously it was a tale of two halves,” Missouri coach Kim Anderson told reporters. “In the first half we did a good job of mixing our defenses and keeping them off-balanced. Then Weatherspoon and Peters took over and we had no answer. We knew coming in that Peters was dangerous off the ball screens. And we knew Weatherspoon was dangerous from anywhere.”
The loss, the 11th straight overall 12th straight in SEC games and 30th consecutive road game, dropped Missouri to 5-14 overall and 0-7 in SEC action.
In addition to the 18 points from Barnett, who also had a team-high eight rebounds, and Geist, forward Kevin Puryear added 13 points and seven boards in 37 minutes. Terrence Phillips and Cullen VanLeer both added nine points off the bench.
Missouri led 43-39 at halftime after shooting 61.5 percent (16-26) in the opening 20 minutes — the halftime lead was the fifth for the Tigers in seven league games — but shot 32.1 percent (9-28) after the intermission.
After shooting 50 percent (14-28) in the first half, the host Bulldogs shot 64.3 percent (18-28) over the final 20 minutes.
"I thought our second-half defense keyed the comeback,” Mississippi State coach Ben Howland told reporters. “We really dug deep and it really fed our offense. Q (Weatherspoon) did a good job in the first half and really kept us in it. Then bottom line, Lamar had a good second half and really got it going there. We’ve already seen that before and seen how he can get it going.”
Missouri is back in action at home on Saturday night against No. 23 South Carolina (16-4, 6-1).
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