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Missouri aims to get back on target, hosts South Carolina

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Missouri will try to reestablish its perimeter shooting touch and brisk offensive pace when it faces struggling South Carolina on Tuesday in Columbia, Mo.

The Tigers (17-6, 5-5 Southeastern Conference) shot 16-for-30, 14-for-30 and 13-for-27 from 3-point range during their three-game winning streak. Then they shot just 6-for-23 (26.1 percent) from beyond the arc at Mississippi State on Saturday — including 1-for-11 in the first half.

The result was their lowest-scoring game of season in a 63-52 loss. The Tigers were averaging 83.3 points coming into the game.

“I don’t look at it as shooting issues,” Missouri coach Dennis Gates said. “I think it was a very physical game … it should have been 30 free throws-plus for both teams tonight, without a doubt in my mind.

“I thought there were situations that we should have gotten to the paint that we settled.”

After averaging 20.4 points in his previous five games, Missouri forward Kobe Brown scored just 10 points against the Bulldogs on 3-for-11 shooting overall and 0-for-5 from 3-point range.

On the other hand, 6-foot-10 forward Mohamed Diarra had his second straight 10-rebound game for the Tigers while playing a season-high 24 minutes as his role continued to grow.

South Carolina (8-15, 1-9) will bring a seven-game losing streak into this game at Mizzou Arena. First-year Gamecocks coach Lamont Paris is trying to keep his team from getting discouraged.

“You have to move forward, you have to get ready for the next game, you have to try to improve. And the only way you’re going to do it is if you have a positive attitude,” Paris said after the Gamecocks fell 65-63 at home against Arkansas on Saturday. “And you hope you play better and you hope you just play better in one game. But it’s a challenge.”

It was evident that the team must move forward when standout freshman Gregory “GG” Jackson II took to Instagram to express his frustration after the Arkansas game. Jackson leads South Carolina with 15.8 points and 6.7 rebounds per game, but the Razorbacks held him to just nine points.

“I’m not even getting plays drawn up for me in the crunch time,” Jackson said via Instagram.

He later returned to apologize, writing, in part, “After reflecting on my behavior yesterday, I want to apologize for acting out in emotions and comments I made … I unfortunately took my frustration out in very inappropriate manner.”

–Field Level Media

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