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Tilmon leads efficient No. 19 Missouri past South Carolina

Jeremiah Tilmon had 19 points and 10 rebounds in another efficient performance, and No. 19 Missouri beat South Carolina 81-70 on Tuesday night.

Tilmon, who came in shooting a Southeastern Conference-leading 74% from the floor, improved on that mark by going 8 of 11. Missouri (9-2, 3-2 SEC) had its best shooting performance overall at 58.3%.

Mark Smith scored 18 points and went 3 for 5 from 3-point range for the Tigers. Dru Smith added 16 points on 5-of-6 shooting.

Reserve Keyshawn Bryant scored 19 points for South Carolina (3-4, 1-2) and Trey Anderson had 17, also off the bench, as 45 of the Gamecocks' points came from substitutes.

Missouri jumped out to a 10-0 lead and didn't allow South Carolina to get closer than five points the rest of the way.

The Tigers committed 19 turnovers, but the Gamecocks only scored 18 points off them. South Carolina tied its season high with 70 field goal attempts, but shot 38.6% from the field. The Gamecocks also struggled from the free-throw line, going 8 for 19 (42.1%).

MAN IN THE MIDDLE

Tilmon has evolved into one of the SEC’s premier big men. The 6-foot-10 senior entered the game averaging career highs in both points (16) and rebounds (7.8) during league play. His double-double Tuesday was his fourth in six games.

BIG PICTURE

South Carolina: Coach Frank Martin returned to the sideline for the first time since his second positive COVID-19 test — he previously caught the virus last summer — as assistant Bruce Shingler filled in as acting head coach during Martin’s absence. Tuesday was South Carolina’s second game in four days after previously playing two games in 41 days due to a litany of COVID-19 issues.

Missouri: Since an 11-day pause due to COVID-19 issues, the Tigers have put up two double-digit victories in a row. Missouri also cracked the 80-point barrier for the fourth time this season, improving its record to 4-0 when doing so.

UP NEXT

South Carolina: Hosts Auburn on Saturday.

Missouri: At No. 6 Tennessee on Saturday. The visiting Volunteers beat the Tigers 73-53 on Dec. 30.

More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25