Missouri forward Tony Criswell goes for a rebound between LSU's Shavon Coleman (5) and Johnny O'Bryant III (2) during the first half. (AP Photo/Bill Feig)
Jan. 30, 2013
Baton Rouge, La. - The 17th-ranked Missouri Tigers couldn't avoid a slow start on the road, and despite a furious late rally, lost 73-70 at LSU Wednesday night in Baton Rouge, La.
Mizzou trailed by as many as 16 points in each half, before some big shots down the stretch by Phil Pressey (game-high 25 points), Jabari Brown (19) and Earnest Ross (7) closed the deficit to one possession several times. But every time Mizzou closed in, LSU had an answer and they improved to 11-7 overall and 2-5 in Southeastern Conference play. Mizzou fell to 15-5 overall and 4-3 in league action.
Brown hit a three-pointer with 1:05 to play that cut the LSU lead to 65-63, and after LSU made just 1-of-2 free throws, Pressey couldn't connect on a trey that would have tied it. After LSU made a pair of free throws, Ross drilled a three from the corner to 68-66 with :32.6 seconds left.
LSU got a breakaway layin by Johnny O'Bryant III on the ensuing inbounds play, but Pressey answered with a quick scoring drive to keep it at 70-68 with :22.8 seconds left. Forced to foul, the Tigers were down 72-68 after another pair of LSU free throws, but Pressey again answered with a quick score with :14.6 left to make it 72-70.
Unable to get a turnover on the inbound play, Mizzou had to foul once more, and LSU's Shavon Coleman made only 1-of-2 free throws to keep it a one-possession game. But Pressey couldn't hit a three-pointer, and after LSU's Coleman missed two more free throws with 4.1 seconds left, Ross couldn't get a desperation shot off from near halfcourt before the buzzer sounded.
Mizzou was looking to avoid yet another slow start on the road, but that's exactly what they got, as LSU hit a three-pointer on the game's opening possession, and soon after used an 11-0 scoring run to take a 17-6 lead at the 13:26 mark. Mizzou shot just 26.9% from the floor in the first half (7-of-26), while LSU connected at a salty 56.0% rate (14-of-25 FGs). LSU's largest of the first half was 16 points.
LSU quickly extended the lead to 46-30 after halftime, but Mizzou fought back with a 12-0 run to cut the deficit to 46-42 with 13:41 to play. But the run wouldn't last, and LSU answered with seven straight points, all by guard Anthony Hickey, to extend their edge back to 53-42. After another LSU bucket in the paint, Jabari Brown beat the shot clock with a three-pointer from the left wing to make it 55-45 with 11:02 remaining.
Brown hit another three with 5:10 left to bring MU to within 59-54, and after Mizzou forced a jump ball (with possession going to Frank Haith's Tigers), Earnest Ross drove hard for a reverse layin to make it 59-56 with 4:19 remaining.
With just over three minutes left, Mizzou saw a golden opportunity go by the wayside. Mizzou had the ball and trailed just 61-58 but a turnover by MU was followed by a transition LSU three-point basket while being fouled. The free throw was good and suddenly LSU held a 65-58 lead with 3:01 left.
Mizzou held a 39-26 rebounding edge on the night, but poor shooting proved too much to overcome, as MU shot only 37.7% from the floor (23-of-61 FGs), and 28.0% from three-point range (7-of-25 3FGs). Conversely, LSU, which came into the game shooting just 41% on the season, made 55.6% from the floor.
Mizzou will look to bounce back Saturday at Mizzou Arena, as they play host to the Auburn Tigers. Tipoff is set for 12:30 p.m., and the game will be televised on the SEC Network.
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