ATHENS, Ga. -- Nemanja Djurisic scored 14 points and Georgia strengthened its NCAA tournament hopes with a runaway 68-44 win over Missouri on Saturday.
Georgia (19-9, 10-6 Southeastern Conference) has won three straight games, including road wins against Alabama and Mississippi, since back-to-back disappointing home losses to Auburn and South Carolina.
The Bulldogs, 5-3 on the road in conference games, needed to avoid a third straight home loss to one of the league's worst teams. Georgia began the day with a No. 29 ranking in the NCAA RPI and plays host to No. 1 Kentucky on Tuesday night.
Missouri (8-21, 2-14) couldn't manage a second straight win after ending a 13-game losing streak by beating Florida 64-52 on Tuesday night. The Tigers, last in the SEC, struggled with poor shooting while quickly falling behind by double figures in the first half.
A 3-pointer by Djurisic gave Georgia an 18-8 lead. The Bulldogs led 30-18 following a 3-pointer by Kenny Paul Geno, and they kept the lead in double figures the remainder of the game.
Georgia led 41-23 at halftime and stretched the lead to 28 points at 55-27 on two straight baskets by Cameron Forte -- a follow-up layup and a jam.
Following Forte's jam, the Bulldogs kept the lead over 20 points despite going more than six minutes without scoring. Marcus Thornton ended the scoring drought when he made two free throws with 6:31 remaining.
Forte and J.J. Frazier each had 10 points for Georgia. Thornton finished with eight points and seven rebounds.
Georgia sophomore guard Juwan Parker played for the first time since missing 11 straight games with an Achilles injury. Parker, who started in 14 of 15 games before the injury, had one point and one assist in a brief late-game appearance.
Missouri: A 3-pointer by Namon Wright gave the Tigers their only lead at 3-2. Wright, a freshman who had 28 points in the 64-52 win over Florida, had 10 points. Wright, who hit six of eight 3-pointers against Florida, made three of six 3s against the Bulldogs. ... Johnathan Williams also had 10 points despite making only 3 of 13 shots.
Georgia: The 1990 SEC championship team was recognized at halftime. Former coach Hugh Durham, who was welcomed with a long "Huuuugh!" from fans -- returned with his players, including Litterial Green, Rod Cole and Neville Austin. Another star of the team, Alec Kessler, died in 2007 and was recently inducted posthumously into the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame. Kessler was represented by his widow, Rhea, who received a standing ovation.
Missouri: Hosts Auburn on Tuesday night.
Georgia: Hosts No. 1 Kentucky on Tuesday night.