Pictures can be found HERE
LSU (11-7,2-5) took the lead early with Charles Carmouche hitting a three pointer 22 seconds into the game. #17 Missouri (15-5, 4-3) was never able to catch up. The Bayou Bengals hit a season high 55.6% of their field goals, spurred on by a 67.9% two point percentage. Johnny O'Bryant had his 4th straight double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds, while Anthony Hickey led the Tigers scoring with 20 points. Andre Stringer had his best performance of the season scoring 18 points on only 6 FG attempts (4/5 from three point, 0/1 two point, 6/6 FT), and Shavon Coleman added 9 points on 4 of 4 from the field.
Tiger fans may have seen the best matchup in the SEC this season in the battle between LSU's point guard Anthony Hickey and Missouri's Phil Pressey. Pressey scored 25 points on 21 shots and Hickey scored 20 on 17 shots. During one stretch in the second half, Hickey was on fire and scored 7 points in a row to extend a lead that was dwindling. "I just talked to my team and said that we were going to take whatever they were going to give us. We were able to get great open shots. We weren't able to hit them toward the beginning of the season, but we knocked them down this game. We're going to keep moving forward."
LSU didn't run their press that they have been in most of the SEC season, they never had to. LSU used a mix of man to man and zone defenses to keep the Missouri Tigers off their game. While Missouri was able to win the rebounding battle handily, especially in the second half, LSU held them under their season average of 42.5 (2nd in NCAA). They were able to win fast break points 10 to 2, bench points 14 to 12 and tie points in the paint at 26.
On offense, LSU had their most efficient game of the season scoring 73 points on only 45 field goals. LSU's 28 free throw attempts was the most taken since game 3 against Northwestern State. O'Bryant was able to show off some post moves and continued to show much improved passing out of the post. His 3 assists in this one tied a season high, while his 3 turnovers were his lowest total in the last 5 games. He was able to get to the line for 11 free throws and made 6 of them. Image: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-t0pfQ_FsO5I/UQpwYcOb11I/AAAAAAAAAoU/NsuZe-h16zg/s640/SoS+post+mizzou.png
Surprisingly, the SoS formula didn't favor LSU tonight. Note that Missouri's 45 point margin can be mostly contributed to their 16 offensive rebounds to LSU's 3. Missouri took care of business on the boards, but LSU maintained the victory on the scoreboard and that is all that matters. It is really impressive that LSU was able to win, even after allowing 16 more field goal attempts (61 to 45).
It is great to see Stringer's SoS at the level it was last night. His season high in rebounds was three before last night where he corralled 5 boards. His 4 of 5 shooting from beyond the arc was crucial, and his 4 point play with less than 4 minutes to go was the play of the game.
After all the excitement clears, just remember, Andrew Del Piero won yet another tip off: ADP TIP OFF WIN
Now is the fun part, looking forward. I started to think yesterday that if we win the Missouri game, the schedule starts to look really nice for LSU. With a road game versus Mississippi State (7-12) Saturday, LSU could easily go to 3-5 in SEC and get a coveted road victory. Then Vanderbilt (8-11) at home could easily be another victory. If LSU turns out to be 4-5 going into Alabama, that could end up being the make or break game of the year for LSU. While they have some bad losses to South Carolina, Georgia, and Auburn, LSU still has a shot at a successful season if they continue to improve.
Coach Jones will have to keep the team focused because anyone can beat anyone in this league. If LSU wins the games they should win, they'll have no problem making 7 SEC wins this year. If they win some toss up games, they could be looking at a .500 SEC record or better. The game last night could be a blurp on the radar or the turning point.
The second half of the Kentucky game started the turn, and the Missouri win finished the turn. LSU looks like a team ready to make a run. There are 11 winnable games left on the schedule (all of them) and I have a feeling LSU will be in each of them. Will they win them all, of course not. Will it be exciting, hell yes.
This post was edited on 1/31 at 7:56 am