Missouri defeats LSU in overtime 74-67
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) Missouri finally broke through.
After losing to Illinois and Oklahoma State by a combined five points last month, the Tigers knocked off LSU 74-67 on Thursday in the Southeastern Conference opener for both teams.
''We had been so close a couple of times that it's great to see these guys be able to realize the fruits of their labor,'' coach Kim Anderson said. ''It was a great game.''
Johnathan Williams III scored 21 points - his eighth consecutive game leading the team in scoring - and grabbed 10 rebounds. Keith Shamburger added 10 points, including four on free throws in the final minute of overtime.
The Tigers (7-7, 1-0) improved to 1-5 against teams from the five major conferences after scoring the final nine points of the game - the last seven on free throws - after LSU opened overtime with two of its own by Tim Quarterman.
Quarterman finished with 19 points while Keith Hornsby added 17 for LSU (11-3, 0-1), which had its eight-game winning streak snapped.
''I didn't think we were as poised as we needed to be,'' coach Johnny Jones said. ''We turned the ball over. We weren't as good as we needed to be with the basketball. I thought we tried to rush or force some things tonight.''
The game featured 14 lead changes and seven ties, including one in the final minute of regulation. Hornsby's 3-pointer with 10 seconds left knotted the game at 65 before Wes Clark's miss at the other end sent the game to overtime.
Despite trailing for more than 24 minutes, Missouri used a 14-2 run to gain a 60-56 lead with 3:33 remaining.
''We've been there before,'' Keanau Post said. ''I think this time, our mindset was, `We're going to get it this time.' So I think we went out there confident and ready to get the win, and we did that.''
Both teams struggled early, combining for 5-of-21 shooting in the first seven minutes. LSU found its way first, using an 11-0 run to take a 17-6 lead with10:46 remaining in the first half. The teams then traded runs to a 30-27 halftime lead for LSU.
LSU entered the matchup with an advantage in the post with Jarell Martin and Jordan Mickey together averaging 34.5 points this season, but the two encountered foul trouble early in the first half.
When asked about the impact of the absence of the two forwards in the final minutes before halftime, Jones said the team had lost its rhythm even when Martin and Mickey were playing.
The Tigers averaged 41.8 points from the paint before playing Missouri, but only managed 24 on Thursday. Martin finished with nine points - all in the second half - while Mickey added nine and grabbed 17 rebounds.
Post provided a spark off the bench with 12 points for Missouri. The 6-foot-10 senior and former junior college All-American had just 20 points in 10 games before contributing a combined 19 in his last two.
''He's coming out of his shell a little bit more now, and it's starting to show,'' Williams said.
LSU: The Tigers finished with 19 turnovers after entering the night ranked last in the SEC with 15.2 per game.
Missouri: Junior Deuce Bello missed his third consecutive game while suspended for academic reasons, while freshman Montaque Gill-Caesar sat out with a back injury stemming from a flagrant foul committed by Illinois on Dec. 20. ... Wes Clark scored 13 points.
LSU hosts Georgia on Saturday.
Missouri plays at Auburn on Saturday.
QUOTE OF THE NIGHT
''We started 1-0,'' Wes Clark said of Missouri's conference record. ''So we don't have any losses. We're just looking to keep going with that. Take it one game at a time.''