No. 17 Missouri whips struggling Georgia 79-62
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - Earnest Ross scored 15 points while surviving two spills, helping No. 17 Missouri rebound from its biggest setback of the season with a 79-62 victory over Georgia on Wednesday night.
Alex Oriakhi had 13 points on perfect 5-for-5 shooting, eight rebounds and four blocks for the Tigers (13-3, 2-1 SEC), who were held to a season-low 49 points in a 15-point loss at Mississippi on Saturday. Their second game without leading scorer Laurence Bowers, who has a sprained right knee, was a major improvement for a team that's 10-0 at home this season and 26-1 at the Mizzou Arena in two seasons under coach Frank Haith.
Vincent Williams had a career-best 23 points on 7-for-10 shooting for Georgia (6-10, 0-3), nine more than his previous best after entering with a 4.1-point average. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, the Bulldogs' lone player averaging in double figures, added 15 points.
Ross was held to three points at Mississippi while missing six of seven shots, Oriakhi had four points and six rebounds and Missouri was 2 for 18 from 3-point range. The Tigers were 9 for 22 against Georgia, getting three apiece from Ross and Jabari Brown, who added 15 points.
Ross missed the last 2:52 of the first half after injuring his left leg. Then he landed hard on his hip after getting fouled under the basket with just under 6 minutes to go, making one of two free throws not long before limping to the bench for good.
Georgia is in a stretch of three Top 25 opponents in five games that started with a 33-point loss at Florida Jan. 9 and ends with Florida, now No. 10, at home on Jan. 23. The Bulldogs have lost three straight but shot 46 percent.
Haith juggled his lineup, with forwards Tony Criswell and Stefan Janovic each getting their first start in place of Ross and Keion Bell. Jankovic scored Missouri's first five points but lasted just 4 minutes in the half after drawing three fouls, the last just 37 seconds after re-entering.
Ross scored a career-high 30 points for Auburn against Georgia on Feb. 5, 2011.
The Tigers hit five 3-pointers and twice led by 14 points in the first half, but were outscored 8-2 over the last 3 1/2 minutes as Georgia shaved the gap to eight points at the break.
Six players were whistled for at least two fouls in the first half, four from Missouri.
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