After what appeared to be a damning first half of basketball that featured a 39% shooting team going on a 16-0 run, LSU locked down and found themselves down 40-35 at the half. Mizzou, quite frankly, shot the best half of their season, led by Jordan Barnett’s nice 6-9 from the field. Thankfully, LSU kept fighting after going down ten, because they’ve seen that movie before. The second half was a completely different story, as apparently the team heard me talking bad things on Twitter that forced their hand to score 53 points.
Stop me if you’ve heard this before: Antonio Blakeney is very good at basketball. LSU’s scoring leader managed to top 20 points yet again, finishing with 24 and six rebounds. He’ll make some silly mistakes and bad shots sometimes, but man this is several games now where the Tigers come out victorious with most of the credit going to Blakeney.
A huge personal improvement tonight came for Duop Reath, who only had nine points and fouled out, but managed to finish the game without a single turnover. In fact, LSU as a team only had 10 turnovers to Mizzou’s 14. This is especially impressive considering defense is by far Mizzou’s strength. Jalyn Patterson had one of his best games of the season as well, picking up some slack from the bench with 11 points, 3 assists, and no turnovers in 24 minutes.
All in all, LSU is now 9-4 (1-1), what seemed like a crisis was averted once Mizzou started shooting like Mizzou again, and I was very impressed with the team and staff’s adjustments at halftime to come out strong. LSU just needs to work on turning these great halves into great, full games. As much flak as I’ll give them, this is a winning SEC team if every half is that second half.
The Tigers take on the Mississippi State Bulldogs in the PMAC Saturday afternoon, a 2:30 tip televised on the SEC Network. The Bulldogs are 9-4 (0-1), with their conference loss to Alabama.