How it happened
LSU turned in a solid all-around performance after halftime to erase what had grown to a double-digit lead. LSU shot 55.3% (21-for-38), turned the ball over only four times, forced Mizzou into 8 takeaways and limited the home Tigers to 38.7% shooting (12-for-31) over the final 20 minutes. Missouri was off the mark on 12 of 13 3-point attempts in the second half and LSU horsed the defensive glass for 17 boards and turned those into transition opportunities. Antonio Blakeney produced 17 points after halftime, hitting 3-of-4 3-pointers to lead the way.
What it means
After showing some fight in a high-scoring fight with Vanderbilt, LSU showed it can, indeed, play a little defense at times, while also generating the kind of offense it must to be successful. The Tigers didn’t knock off a heavyweight by any means, but surviving a rocky stretch in the first half and staging the second-half rally were much needed.
Player of the game
Antonio Blakeney | 24 points, 10-20 FG, 3-4 3-pt. FG, 6 rebounds, 1 TO in 36 minutes
Blakeney did what LSU is likely going to need from him on a regular basis: He took the game over. His shooting and willingness to create shots and keep Missouri off-balance became contagious and also created some openings for teammates.
Wednesday marked LSU’s first-ever win in Columbia, Mo., after losses there on the Tigers’ first two SEC trips. … LSU won the backboard battle 44-43 despite Duop Reath grappling with foul trouble with Brandon Sampson snaring 8, Wayde Sims 7 and Blakeney’s 6. … The Tigers turned the ball over only 10 times and the guards were again very clean. None of the primary ball handlers coughed the ball up more than once. … Jalyn Patterson turned in his most effective game in a while, scoring 11 points, grabbing 4 defensive caroms, recording 3 assists and coming up with 3 steals. … After hoisting 18 3-pointers in the first half, LSU fired only 8 after the intermission. … Of Missouri’s 63 shot attempts, 27 came from outside the 3-point arc. … LSU finished with 46 points in the paint and got 26 points off the bench. … Junior guard Branden Jenkins didn’t play after making his season debut against Vanderbilt last Thursday.
The Tigers entertain Mississippi State at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday at the PMAC. The Bulldogs are 9-4 and 0-1 in the SEC after losing 68-58 at home to Alabama on Tuesday.