LSU Tigers defeat Missouri Tigers 77-71
A week ago, LSU failed to execute in the final minutes of regulation and dropped an overtime decision to Ole Miss.
The results were the opposite for LSU against Missouri on Tuesday. Jordan Mickey scored four points and Anthony Hickey sank four consecutive free throws in the final minute and LSU held off the Tigers for a 77-71 Southeastern Conference win.
Hickey, who entered the game shooting 50 percent from the free-throw line, was fouled on purpose twice by Missouri. Hickey made his first pair of free throws to give LSU a 74-68 lead with 37 seconds remaining.
Following a 3-pointer by Jabari Brown, Hickey was again fouled. Hickey sank two more free throws with 17 seconds left to push LSU ahead 76-71.
“It was a great team effort out there,” LSU coach Johnny Jones said. “Missouri played aggressive in the second half, tied it and eventually took the lead. I’m really proud of how our team bore their neck.
“They played with a sense of urgency and toughness down the stretch,” Jones said. “They got stops and tough rebounds on the defensive end. Then, they were able to execute on the offensive end. They knocked down some big free throws.”
Shavon Coleman led LSU (12-5, 3-2) with a season-high 19 points. Johnny O’Bryant added 16 points, while Andre Stringer had 12. Mickey scored 14 points and grabbed 13 rebounds.
“Towards the end of the game, you have to get the ball inside and get some fouls,” Mickey said. “You don’t want to keep taking jump shots that can allow the other team to get back in the game, so you have to go inside and try to get some easy layups.”
Brown had a career-high 28 points for Missouri (14-4, 2-3). Jordan Clarkson contributed 19 points, while Earnest Ross had 16.
“You can’t take anything away from our guys’ competitive spirit,” Missouri coach Frank Haith said. “LSU made some big shots and made their free throws when they went to the line down the stretch. We were slow reacting a little bit on defense. It obviously wasn’t one of our better moments defensively.”
Missouri, which trailed for most of the game, went ahead 65-64 on a 3-pointer by Brown with 3:39 remaining. LSU’s Mickey replied with two free throws and a field goal and Coleman made a layup after a steal by Tim Quarterman.
Missouri stayed in striking range as Clarkson made three of four free throws on Missouri’s next two possessions. Then Hickey was fouled twice, and he sealed the win with his clutch foul shooting.
LSU led for most of the first half and built an 18-10 lead after Coleman made a 3-pointer with 12:31 remaining. Sparked by Brown’s eight points, Missouri rallied to take its first lead at 29-26 with 5:26 left before halftime.
LSU regained the lead by outscoring Missouri 12-2 over the next five minutes. Stringer started the run with a 3-pointer, Mickey made two baskets and sank two foul shots, and Jarell Marting scored three points. Brown hit a field goal, but Missouri trailed 38-33 at the half.
Missouri seized momentum at the start of the second half. A 3-pointer by Clarkson and a layup by Brown tied the score at 38, then a bucket by Johnathan Williams put Missouri on top less than 90 seconds into the half.
Trailing by four for a third time, LSU’s Mickey scored on an inside basket, then Stringer hit a trey for a 50-49 lead with 14:08 to play. Quarterman made a field goal and Coleman sank one of two foul shots to increase the lead to 53-49.
LSU extended its advantage to six points at 59-53 following field goals by O’Bryant and Coleman. But a three-point play by Ross cut Missouri’s deficit in half with 8:33 remaining. LSU got the lead back to six points again on a field goal by Martin and a foul shot by Coleman.
Another three-point play — this one by Brown — again cut Missouri’s deficit in half. Missouri then tied the score when Ross made one of two free throws and hit a layup following an LSU turnover. A driving basket by Coleman put LSU back ahead 64-62 with 4:05 remaining.