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College basketball: Mizzou dogs Georgia
Missouri’s Zaire Taylor, right, tosses a pass behind Georgia’s Chris Barnes on Saturday in Columbia, Mo. - photo by L.G. Patterson
COLUMBIA, Mo. — Missouri’s deep roster ran another opponent ragged.

Reserve Laurence Bowers scored a career-high 23 points, matching his previous best with 17 in the first half, leading the Tigers to an 89-61 rout over Georgia on Saturday.

Missouri’s reserves outscored Georgia backups 54-16. Bowers, a 6-8 sophomore, led the team in scoring for the third time on 11-for-14 shooting.

“I thought our guys brought a tremendous amount of energy in the first half and kept it throughout the game,” coach Mike Anderson said. “We scored early and I thought that we made a lot of plays that came from effort.”

The Tigers’ full-court pressure negated Georgia’s biggest strength, the inside game. Georgia committed turnovers on five straight possessions in the first half.

“Some things you have to learn the hard way,” Georgia coach Mark Fox said. “We lost our poise a little bit and we got routed. I don’t think the different style is the issue, I think it’s how well they do it.”

Missouri (11-3) used runs of 18-2 and 12-0 to race to a 46-28 halftime lead and Georgia (7-5) couldn’t make a dent in the huge deficit the rest of the way. The Tigers shot 54 percent and forced 23 turnovers, including 16 steals.

Missouri scored 35 points off the turnovers, and committed only nine turnovers.

“Teams come in here all the time thinking they’re prepared for our pressure,” forward Keith Ramsey said. “But when they get here, you can tell, people don’t even want the ball anymore.”

Missouri has won six in a row, is 9-0 at home and has won 46 in a row at home over non-conference opponents dating to the 2005-06 season.

Marcus Denmon added 13 points off the bench, going 3 for 6 from 3-point range for the Tigers. J.T. Tiller had 11 points and seven assists.

Travis Leslie led Georgia with 18 points. Trey Thompkins, the team’s leading scorer with a 16.5-point average, was held to nine points in 16 minutes due to foul trouble.

“To get him out of the game, I think that threw them off a little bit,” Bowers said. “I think that was a big deal for us.”

Georgia had won three in a row, including a 70-67 victory over Illinois.

Missouri has won 28 in a row at home, the third-longest streak in the country.
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