Missouri men's basketball will have to wait at least another week before it can win back-to-back games in 2020.
Playing on the road against South Carolina on Saturday afternoon, the Tigers were without usual starters Mark Smith and Jeremiah Tilmon, who were both considered game-time decisions.
The effects showed in the Southeastern Conference contest as Missouri never led.
The Gamecocks downed Missouri 76-54 at Colonial Life Arena in Columbia, South Carolina, dropping the Tigers to 10-11 overall and 2-6 in the SEC.
Missouri has lost five of its past six games, while South Carolina has won five of its past six to improve to 13-8 overall and 5-3 in league play.
Missouri sought to build on the momentum it gained Tuesday from a second-half comeback against Georgia, but without their second- and third-leading scorers, the Tigers never found an offensive rhythm.
The Tigers finished 4 of 19 from 3-point range (21.1%) and 19-for-58 from the field, or just under 33%.
MU committed 17 turnovers, which led to 22 South Carolina points, the exact margin of victory.
South Carolina senior Maik Kotsar led all scorers with 21 points and went 7 of 8 from the field.
“You've got to get to the rim, but you also have to be able to throw the ball inside to get post production, and that's what we've got to continue to get better at, to get interior production,” Missouri head coach Cuonzo Martin said after the loss. “(Kotsar) is going to his left hand every time. You foul him in certain situations, but you can’t allow him to do what he’s been doing for four years ... and we allowed that with him.”
Jermaine Couisnard added 15 points for the Gamecocks, while AJ Lawson scored 13.
Xavier Pinson, who started his second game of the season in place of Smith, led Missouri in scoring with 12 points. Pinson was the only Tiger in double figures.
Dru Smith posted nine points in the losing effort, while Tray Jackson and Javon Pickett each had eight.
The Tigers got within nine points of the Gamecocks with 10:54 left in the game, but MU didn’t score from the field for the next seven minutes. By that time, South Carolina led by 20.
Missouri is undefeated this season in the seven games in which Pickett has scored in double figures. Pickett scored his eighth point with more than 18 minutes remaining Saturday, but he didn’t score again and had only one more shot attempt.
Pinson scored nine of the Tigers’ first 11 points of the game but didn't make a field goal in the second half.
“Give (South Carolina) credit for really putting pressure on us,” Martin said.
Martin said after the game that both Mark Smith and Tilmon are “day-to-day.”
Missouri is scheduled to return to action Tuesday night at Texas A&M, which lost to Georgia on Saturday.