The Missouri basketball team opened the Southeastern Conference portion of its schedule on a positive note with a strong first half that saw the Tigers leading visiting LSU by five points at the intermission.
The second half wasn’t nearly as kind to the home squad.
Led by standout guard Antonio Blakeney, LSU rallied over the final 20 minutes and pulled away for an 88-77 victory over Missouri at Mizzou Arena.
Missouri, which was led by junior forward Jordan Barnett's 18 points and nine rebounds, fell to 5-8 overall and 0-1 in league play with its fifth consecutive loss.
The Tigers, who fell to 4-5 at Mizzou Arena this season, also got 15 points from Kevin Puryear, 13 from Jordan Geist, 12 from Terrence Phillips and 11 from K.J. Walton. Phillips had eight assists and seven rebounds in 30 minutes.
Missouri used a different starting lineup for the second straight game.
After inserting Barnett and Geist into the starting five last game, which was the first lineup switch of the season, the Tigers benched Phillips in favor of Walton.
The new-look lineup seemed to work in the first half, as the Tigers shot 46.9 percent (15-32) from the field and 42.9 percent from 3-point range (6-14) with Barnett, Geist and Puryear leading the way.
Missouri led by as many as 10 points in the first half and took a 40-35 lead into halftime.
LSU struggled to make shots in the first 20 minutes — the visitors shot 40 percent from the field (14-35) and 30 percent from 3-point range (3-10) — but got going offensively in the second half, led by Blakeney.
As the hosts went cold, shooting 38.7 from the field (12-31) and 7.7 percent from 3 (1-13) in the second half, the visitors heated up. LSU shot 55.3 percent from the field (21-38) and 50 percent from 3-point range (4-8) over the final 20 minutes.
LSU, which snapped a two-game losing skid, led by as many as 15 points in the second half. LSU outscored Missouri 53-37 in the second half.
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