Georgia improves to 10-5 in conference play and strengthens its grip on third place with a 71-56 win over Missouri at Stegeman Coliseum.
The Bulldogs turned in a gritty defensive effort to go along with some nice execution at the offensive end of the floor. Georgia limited the Tigers to just 32 percent shooting for the game including 3-18 from beyond-the-arc. The Bulldogs on the other hand shot a sizzling 52 percent and win despite being out rebounded 38-31.
Georgia jumped out to an early lead before Missouri clawed its way back into the game. The Tigers led 14-11 at the 12 minute mark before Georgia pulled back in front. The Bulldogs closed the half with a pair of three pointers from Nemanja Djurisic and lead 31-22.
Georgia took control in the second half and added to their lead while Missouri continued to struggle on the offensive end. A three pointer from Kenny Gaines put the Bulldogs up 17 with 7:44 remaining and the lead would grow to as many as 24 points.
The Bulldogs got a balanced effort scoring wise led by Charles Mann who finished with 19 points, eight rebounds and four assists. Marcus Thornton added 15 while Kenny Gaines finished in double figures with 10. Georgia's bench also chipped in with 17 points and played some key minutes while several starters were saddled with foul trouble.
Jordan Clarkson and Jabari Brown finished with 17 points each to lead the Tigers.
Georgia is now 2.5 games ahead of five different teams who are tied for fourth in the conference. The Bulldogs have three games remaining including trips to Arkansas and LSU along with a home matchup against Mississippi State. A 1-2 record over the next three will all but ensure the Bulldogs get a Top 4 seed in the SEC Tournament with a real chance at being No. 3.
Missouri drops to 7-8 in conference play and has severely hurt their NCAA Tournament chances with back-to-back losses.