Earnest Ross and Jabari Brown hit key 3-pointers in the final 1:11 and No. 22 Missouri overcame 5-for-27 shooting from long range and a 13-point second-half deficit to beat South Carolina 71-65 on Tuesday night.
Ross had a career-best 21 points and Brown had 17 for Missouri (14-4, 3-2 Southeastern Conference), which is 11-0 at home this season and has won 12 straight at the Mizzou Arena since losing to Kansas State and coach Frank Martin, now in his first year at South Carolina, on Feb. 21, 2012.
Brown had eight points in a 20-2 run that gave Missouri a five-point lead with just under 12 minutes to go. Alex Oriakhi was 10 for 10 at the line and fouled out in the final minute with 18 points and 11 rebounds for the Tigers, who won despite 33 percent overall shooting.
Brenton Williams had 16 points with four 3-pointers for South Carolina (11-7, 1-4), which has lost four conference games by a combined 18 points and faced its first ranked opponent of the season. RJ Shawson added 10 points for the Gamecocks, who shot 37 percent.
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"We played with some resolve and fight," Martin said. "We played pretty well on both ends of the floor. We committed some silly fouls that put them on the line. We can't do that because Missouri is a really good team and will get to the line. I've been in this building enough to know that regardless of what your lead is, they will always make a push and this crowd is incredible."
Ross' 3-pointer made it 66-63 with 1:11 to go and Brown's 3-pointer made it 69-65 with 14 seconds left.
Missouri had a huge advantage at the free throw line, going 28 for 36 compared to 11 for 17 by South Carolina.
South Carolina went more than 5 1/2 minutes between points, finally ending the drought on a tip-in by Brian Richardson that cut the deficit to three with 11:34 left.
"I don't think our players took a break," Williams said. "We had a stretch there where we couldn't make a basket but we didn't take a break."
Missouri was 2 for 23 from 3-point range before Phil Pressey banged one in off the glass for a two-point lead with 4:39 to go.
Missouri trailed at halftime for the third time at home after missing its first 13 3-point attempts, a slump ended by Ross with 32 seconds to go, and shot just 20 percent overall to trail 35-27. Pressey had no points, two assists and three turnovers, and three players were 0 for 3 from long range, and the Tigers stayed in range with 14-for-17 free throw shooting.
South Carolina hit four of its first five 3-pointers, three days after going just 4 for 21 in a home loss to Vanderbilt. Williams had three of the 3-pointers for the Gamecocks, who shot 41 percent.
"We have to understand our guys are laying it out on the line," Martin said. "Now we have to teach as coaches and figure out a way that makes us feel confident coming down the stretch so we can make better plays. We had the opportunities to make a defensive stop but we were not disciplined. We were not disciplined in that moment. It is about demanding that people believe in who they are. I said this before; I was raised to worry only about what you have and not worry about what you don't have. Once you figure out what you have, you make the best of it. Every single day and that's what I want our guys to do. We just have to be more fearless in the moment."
The Gamecocks host Arkansas at 1:30 p.m. Saturday.
SOUTH CAROLINA (11-7)
Chatkevicius 2-4 4-4 8, Carrera 2-5 0-0 4, Jackson 3-6 2-4 9, Smith 3-9 0-0 7, Ellington 3-12 1-4 7, Williams 5-11 2-2 16, Richardson 0-0 0-0 0, Kacinas 0-0 0-0 0, Leonard 1-11 0-1 2, Slawson 5-7 2-2 12. Totals 24-65 11-17 65.
Criswell 2-6 3-4 7, Oriakhi 4-4 10-10 18, Pressey 2-8 1-2 6, Webster-Chan 0-2 0-0 0, Brown 5-16 5-8 17, Ross 6-18 7-10 21, Jankovic 0-3 2-2 2, Rosburg 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 19-57 28-36 71.
Halftime: South Carolina 35-27. 3-Point Goals: South Carolina 6-20 (Williams 4-6, Jackson 1-1, Smith 1-5, Chatkevicius 0-1, Ellington 0-2, Leonard 0-5), Missouri 5-27 (Ross 2-6, Brown 2-9, Pressey 1-6, Criswell 0-1, Webster-Chan 0-2, Jankovic 0-3). Fouled Out: Carrera, Oriakhi, Slawson. Rebounds: South Carolina 43 (Ellington 9), Missouri 44 (Oriakhi 11). Assists: South Carolina 9 (Ellington, Jackson 3), Missouri 10 (Pressey 7). Total Fouls: South Carolina 24, Missouri 19. Attendance: 11,830.