(Photo Credit: Clayton Hotze- MUTigers.com)
The Missouri Tigers basketball team is undefeated in conference play and tied for the conference’s top spot. Well, sort of, they’ve only played one game. The Tigers pulled out an over time winner against LSU 74-67 to kick off their conference schedule.
Johnathan Williams III led the way with an impressive double – double netting 21 points and adding 10 boards. Williams III, considered a veteran on Kim Anderson’s young squad, continues to improve in his second year of action as the teams go to scorer.
Both teams struggled shooting the ball in the early minutes as Missouri and LSU went just 5-21 from the floor in the first seven minutes. LSU’s Jarell Martin and Jordan Mickey, who entered the contest as two of the Tigers leading scorers, ran into foul trouble early in the first half. The pair only registered 18 points for the game after averaging 34.5 this season.
Missouri trailed by as many as 11 in the first half, but Anderson’s players hung tight. The Tigers used a 6-0 run to tie the game up 20-20 with less than five minutes to play in the opening half. Keanau Post, who hadn’t played much this season, tallied six of his 12 points in the first half.
At the break Missouri trailed LSU 30-27.
In the second half Missouri buckled down defensively, never trailing by more than six. Missouri continued to use Post and Williams III down low to register points in the paint. Despite being out rebounded, Missouri limited LSU to just 36 percent shooting from the floor.
LSU couldn’t help themselves at the stripe either hitting just 13-23 of its free throws with Martin and Mickey connecting on 4-13.
With less than 10 seconds remaining LSU found itself down 65-62 when Keith Hornsby drained a three-point jumper to tie the game up 65-65. Hornsby registered 17 points on the night only trailing LSU’s Tim Quarterman, who added 19.
In the overtime period it came down to free throws. Keith Shamburger netted four of Missouri’s nine points to help seal the 74-67 victory.
The victory wasn’t an easy one for the Tigers as they snapped LSU’s 8-game win streak to put the Tigers of LSU at 11-3 on the season. The absence of the two big men early on for LSU made all the difference and allowed Missouri to get back in the game.
Anderson should certainly be happy with the way his guys played as Namon Wright, Shamburger, and Post all made strong contributions for the first time this season.
Missouri is next in action Saturday on the road against Auburn.
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