Georgia spoiled heralded freshman Michael Porter Jr.'s return for Missouri and hung on for a 62-60 victory Thursday afternoon to advance to the quarterfinals of the Southeastern Conference Tournament in St. Louis.
In came Porter Jr. -the crowd loved it. Jordan Barnett immediately aced a three-ball-Tiger fans were letting loose.
Coach Cuonzo Martin turned to the shooter who brought the Tigers back from unforeseen depths to unexpected heights.
ST. LOUIS - Collin Sexton wasn't quite ready to put Alabama's postseason chances in the hands of the NCAA Tournament selection committee. The Tigers drew up a play for their leading scorer, Kassius Robertson.
IT WAS OVER WHEN: Robertson's wide-open corner 3-pointer rimmed out, and Missouri couldn't get another shot off before the buzzer. His shot was swatted twice at the rim because of his lack of lift, and he was short on most of his jumpers. "We missed some easy tip-ins and some layups and some open threes, but I think we did a poor job of fouling, and we put them in the bonus really early, and they made a lot of money at the free throw line".
"He said, 'Coach, I want to help the team.'". "I'm a senior. I can grow up from it".More news: Russia's Putin praises women's contributions in holiday greetings
His collegiate career is likely not over just yet, as the Tigers eye an at-large NCAA Tournament bid.
Despite the fact that the 5-star freshman played in his first game since his collegiate debut, it still wasn't enough to fuel Mizzou past Georgia.
In his first game back since the season opener against Iowa State on November 11, Michael Porter Jr. finished with 12 points and eight rebounds while shooting 5-of-17 from the floor. It was 118 days ago that he scored his last points. Georgia, the SEC's best team at smothering opponents in the halfcourt, captured control with a 16-0 run.
Porter collected 12 points (5-17 FB, 2-6 3PT), eight rebounds, an assist and a block in his return to the floor Thursday against Georgia. Just getting in will be a vindictive moment for Martin and the program, but their spot on the bracket will undoubtedly mean more than they're willing to admit.
It didn't take long for Porter Jr.to get in the game.