March 2, 2013
COLUMBIA, Mo. - The Missouri Tigers overcame an early 13-point deficit, thanks to another strong shooting day, and pulled away for an 89-76 win Saturday afternoon over the LSU Tigers at Mizzou Arena. Mizzou (21-8 overall, 10-6 in Southeastern Conference play), got an early challenge from the visiting Tigers (17-10, 8-8), who sped to a quick 25-12 lead in the first half, as they hit six three-pointers early to reverse a quick 6-0 MU run to begin the game.
Facing the early hole, Mizzou dug in and went to its inside game, scoring 11 of the game's next 13 points to pull to within 27-23 with 6:46 left in the first half. Mizzou got a pair of close-range buckets on drives from senior guard Keion Bell, and layins from Oriakhi and Bowers in the sequence to get back in the ballgame.
Sophomore guard Earnest Ross, who would end with 13 points off the bench, scored eight straight MU points later in the first to tie the game at 29-29, and Bell jammed back a miss by junior guard Phil Pressey to give the Tigers the lead back at 31-29 with 5:02 left. Mizzou would never trail again the rest of the way after Bell's dunk, taking a 43-39 lead into halftime.
LSU got a short jumper from forward Johnny O'Bryant III to open the second half, but Pressey, who ended with 15 points and eight assists on the day, hit a three-pointer and a layin to push the lead back to 48-41 with 18:52 left. After LSU answered with a three-pointer by Charles Carmouche, Mizzou quickly pushed the lead to 12, highlighted by a conventional three-point play by Bowers and a dunk by Oriakhi.
Five Mizzou players scored in double figures, led by senior forward Laurence Bowers' 23 points, while senior center Alex Oriakhi added 18 points. Both post men grabbed 10 rebounds apiece, giving them double-doubles for the sixth and 10th times this year, respectively. Their inside presence keyed a huge advantage around the basket for Mizzou, as MU owned a 52-24 edge on points in the paint Saturday.
Mizzou shot an impressive 58.1% from the floor against LSU, connecting on 36-of-62 shots from the floor. That came just two days after Mizzou scorched the nets Thursday in a 90-68 win at South Carolina to the tune of 69.6% (32-of-46 FGs). LSU made 12 three-pointers Saturday, staying in the game thanks to their long-distance accuracy. They ended 12-of-28 from three-point range (41.9%), after making 8-of-15 threes (53.3%) in the first half.
Playing before a boisterous home crowd of 14,212, Mizzou improved to a perfect 16-0 at home this season. They'll lace it up one last time at Mizzou Arena Tuesday night as the Tigers host senior night against Arkansas at 6 p.m. CT.