Admit it, for a minute when LSU was raining threes you were a little bit nervous.
LSU led 25-12 a little over 10 minutes into the first half before Mizzou woke up and ran away from LSU 89-76 Saturday night. The win improves Missouri’s record to 21-8 overall and 10-6 in conference.
Alex Oriakhi and Laurence Bowers dominated the paint for Missouri, combining for 41 points, 20 rebounds, and four blocks on 19-for-28 shooting from the field. LSU simply did not have an answer for what the two were doing inside – both on offense and defense – which rendered their 42.9 percent shooting from three useless.
The efficiency Bowers played with Saturday was more reminiscent to what he was doing before the injuring his knee. His 23 points were the most he has scored since scoring the same amount against Illinois, and his 10 made field goals were the most he’s had all season. LSU is a quality opponent, so his performance shouldn’t be dismissed. If Bowers and Oriakhi, who has been on fire the last three games, continue this trend of dominating the paint, Missouri is going to be a handful in the postseason.
Phil Pressey had a very solid game, dishing out eight assists and scoring 15 points while only turning the ball over twice. This was Pressey’s most consistent games since facing Mississippi in early February when he went for 22 points and just one turnover. When Pressey plays within the flow of the game he is one of the best point guards in the country.
The win sets up what is bound to be a tough week for the Tigers who will now host a desperate Arkansas team before traveling to Tennessee to face an equally desperate Volunteer team. Arkansas comes to Mizzou Arena having won just one road game all season, which is one of the reasons the Razorbacks are on the outside of the NCAA tournament. Then there is the rivalry aspect brewing between the two schools after the officiating nightmare in Fayetteville.
Missouri also has a lot of unfinished business as it relates to seeding in the SEC tournament. The Tigers are currently tied for fourth in the SEC with Ole Miss, and sit a game ahead of Arkansas and Tennessee. Alabama and Kentucky sit a game ahead of Mizzou. A Florida win over Vanderbilt on Wednesday will clinch the conference title.