Bowers, Oriakhi Record Double-Doubles, Mizzou Outlasts LSU

Saturday, March 2-

The last time the Missouri men’s basketball team faced off against the Louisiana State Tigers in January, LSU took the close 73-70 victory in Baton Rouge. The score was a little different when LSU traveled to Columbia, where Mizzou (21-8 overall, 10-6 SEC) continued its 17-game home winning streak taking the 89-76 victory.

After an early 6-0 run by Mizzou that was sparked by a Jabari Brown layup, the LSU Tigers (17-10, 8-8) put themselves ahead by three after multiple shots from behind the arc. Scoring by Shavon Coleman and Charles Carmouche and a lack of offense from Missouri helped LSU extend its lead to 13 with 10:31 left in the first half.

Points in the paint enabled Mizzou to come back, particularly by big men Alex Oriakhi and Laurence Bowers. Both of the seniors ended the game with double-doubles, as Bowers finished with 23 points and 10 rebounds and Oriakhi ended with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Missouri had the advantage down low throughout the contest, outscoring LSU 52-24 in the paint.

After the big men put Mizzou within reach of the lead, Earnest Ross took the game into his own hands, scoring eight points in a minute and a half to tie the game up. After a Keion Bell put-back dunk put Missouri up 31-29, the MU Tigers never looked back, holding the lead the rest of the way and ending the half with a 43-39 lead.

Missouri was efficient shooting from the field in the first half, shooting 54.5 percent, but was a dismal 28.6 percent from the three. LSU was only 39.4 percent from the field but had luck from behind the arc, shooting 53.3 percent for the half.

Missouri continued its shooting performance in the second half helping them contain the lead throughout the game. Five Tigers finished in double-digits, including Phil Pressey, who finished with 15 points and a game high eight assists. Ross also reached double-digits, ending the game with 13 points.

LSU fell behind as its success from outside the three-point line wilted down the stretch. The leading scoring for the LSU Tigers was Anthony Hickey, who notched 22 points. Johnny O’ Bryant III also contributed 18 points for LSU.

After Missouri held a double-digit lead most of the half, the LSU Tigers attempted to come back, pulling within eight with 3:03 left in the game. But that was the closest LSU would be to the lead. A Pressey free throw and an Oriakhi layup made it an 11-point game.

The final MU Tiger to reach double digits was Bell, scoring with a thunderous dunk with 1:13 left, followed by two three throws with 16 seconds left to give him 11 points for the game and Missouri the win.

Missouri plays its final game at home when the Tigers hope to get revenge from another loss as Mike Anderson and Arkansas make their way in to Columbia. Tip off is set for 6 p.m. at Mizzou Arena.

-Mitch Urban
23 Sports
Staff Writer