LSU Wins 20th Game, Defeats Missouri, 75-55
Tari Eason led LSU with 18 points in the win over Missouri.
BATON ROUGE – LSU used a 15-0 run over the first 4:15 of the second half to blow open the game against Missouri and score a 75-55 win in the battle of the Tigers Saturday night at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.
LSU won its 20th game, the third time in the five years of the Will Wade era, the Tigers have won at least 20 games in a season. Missouri drops to 10-19 and 4-12 in the SEC.
The Tigers at 8-8 are in a four-way tie for the sixth seed in the SEC Tournament entering the final two games of the regular season. LSU is tied with Florida, Mississippi State and South Carolina with LSU 2-1 against the three schools.
LSU played a solid first half, shooting 50 percent from the field (11-22), but turned the ball over eight times preventing the Tigers from getting no more than a 30-24 halftime advantage.
But the Tigers showed a renewed vigor coming out of the dressing room as on the opening possession Brandon Murray got a layup and following a Missouri miss, Murray off an offensive rebound got another basket to make it 34-24. Missouri missed again and Darius Days got a bucket to make it 36-24, prompting a Mizzou timeout just 1:55 into the second half.
But out of the turnover, the shorthanded visitors turned the ball over and Days hit a three to advance the lead to 15. Missouri had a shot clock violation and Xavier Pinson, playing against his former team, was fouled on the ensuing possession and hit two free throws to make it 41-24
Another Missouri turnover led to a Days bucket to advance the margin to 43-24 and after another Missouri miss, rebound and then another shot clock violation, a Murray jumper ended the 15-0 run and LSU was up 45-24.
The Tiger lead would reach as many as 25 points in the second half before settling at the final margin.
It was a balanced night of scoring for the Tigers with Tari Eason leading LSU with 18 points with Murray adding 11, Pinson and Days 10 each.
Javon Pickett let Missouri with 14 points, while Amari Davis added 12, Trevon Brazile 11 and Ronnie DeGray III 10.
LSU shot 51.0 percent from the floor for the game (25-of-49) with six treys and a strong 19-of-23 at the free throw line. Missouri was held to just 20-of-56 (35.7%) with three treys and 12-of-15 at the stripe.
Missouri out rebounded LSU, 34-30, with a 13-6 advantage on the glass. Missouri had 19 turnovers while LSU, with only five miscues in the second half, had a 25-12 advantage in points off turnovers.
LSU helped its march to the national team steals lead with another double-digit night of 10 steals.
The Tigers are on the road Wednesday night at 8 p.m. in Fayetteville against Arkansas before closing out the regular season on Saturday at 11 a.m. against Alabama. Tickets for that game are available at LSUtix.net.
LSU VS. Mizzou February 26, 2022
Will Wade Quotes
“Good win. One we obviously needed. I thought our defense was better. The start of the second half was much better than we have been. I thought we sustained our defensive intensity for longer periods than we have been. We need to win our home games and we won that one. It was a big win for us. Proud of our guys. I thought a lot of our guys played well. I thought we have pretty even distribution on things. The guys played hard and they played well for us. That was certainly a positive.”
On the consistency in the second half
“Yeah, you know we have spent a lot of time on that, talking about that, and working on it in practice. I am happy to see some carryover. I thought we should have been up a little bit more at halftime but I thought the first five to seven minutes of the second half really set the tone. We made them call the first time out when we scored a couple of easy baskets. I thought we made some good things happen in the second half that really set the tone.”
Guard Xavier Pinson
On facing his former team, Missouri…
“I did miss being in the black and gold and seeing the jerseys, but tonight was just another normal game.”
On what motivated strong second-half start…
“It was obvious that we needed to start our second half better so we emphasized that throughout the week and executed it tonight.”
Forward Tari Eason
On team finishing better around the rim…
“We try to work on that in practice. Unfortunately, the ball didn’t go in our favor on certain layups last game. After last game, we just made greater emphasis on converting them.”
On strong second half…
“Usually we have some slippage between the first and second halves, but I think our starters did the best job I’ve seen all year by starting the second half with same mentality and plan of attack. It made it easier for the guys on the bench to come in and continue the momentum.”
Guard Brandon Murray
On team starting to get its flow back…
“I think it was bound to happen. It’s something that we’ve been working on. We tend to practice hard, but sometimes you can’t really guess when it works out.”
On readjusting to Xavier Pinson’s return…
“With X coming back everyone needed to go back to their roles and reset. Nothing really changed. We knew we had to pick up our brother.”
Missouri Coach Cuonzo Martin
On Missouri’s performance in the second half…
“I think the first two points were DaJuan (Gordon) gambled on a pass and they got a layup. I think in the second possession, Kobe (Brown) gave an offensive rebound up. The third one might’ve been (Darius) Days on the drive. I’m not sure what it went to before we scored. I just kind of spiraled from there. Again, I thought we did a better job late. Of the things we talked about against the press, get it over the top, Trevon (Brazile) on the backside got a lob. We made plays there and I thought we were much better late.”
On the team’s turnovers…
“Just handling the ball, I think with anything you can do a thousand ball-handling drills. It’s being comfortable handling pressure. It’s really that simple. It’s easier said than done. But you got to be able to handle the pressure, get the ball up, and make plays just like we did the last four plus minutes of the game.”