After laying an egg against Alabama Tuesday night, freshman Tremont Waters hit a floater with 19 seconds left to give his Tigers a 64-63 lead, a lead that they would successfully and dramatically hold on to. The LSU Tigers win their fourth straight game in the PMAC, and improve their record to 15-11 (6-8). Their efforts snapped Mizzou’s five game winning streak, as their record falls to 18-9 (8-6).
The two teams traded scoring and could never pull away from the other all game. Mizzou’s largest lead of the game was four points deep in the first half, LSU’s largest lead was five points just a few minutes into the second half. There were 19 lead changes throughout the game, and the score was tied 13 different times.
The entire game seemed to be boiling down to whoever had the ball last, and after Waters nailed the short shot off the glass to take a late lead, Missouri would have the ball for the last possession.
LSU played tough defense around the perimeter, but senior Kassius Robertson found an open hole to the rim. Daryl Edwards planned for this and stood firm and tall, drawing a charge with only five seconds remaining in the game. As if we needed more drama, Waters failed to inbound the ball to his own player, and all of a sudden Mizzou had the ball back right under the rim for one last shot.
With one second left in the game, Robertson’s attempt from under the rim just couldn’t fall, locking down LSU’s fifteenth victory of the season.
“Daryl Edwards made a winning play at the end there on the charge,” said Wade after the game. “Our execution on the inbound could have been better, not to make it dramatic. Missouri is a really good team. That is one of, if not the best team that we have beaten. They are physical, they are tough and obviously they make a lot of threes. It is a good win for us.”
Having to make up for Missouri’s tough frontcourt shutting down Duop Reath for only 4 points on seven attempts, Tre Waters had another highlight-filled afternoon. The freshman point guard finished with 21 points, 3 rebounds, and 4 assists, his seventh career 20+ point performance. “I tried to learn my lesson,” Wade spoke of Waters. “At Alabama I put him on the bench for a little while. I felt like we have to trust him a little bit more and try to learn a get a little bit better each time.”
Senior Aaron Epps led LSU in rebounding tonight with 9, and tacked on 12 points on seven attempts as well. Rebounding has been a huge issue for the Tigers all season, so it’s extra refreshing to see the Tigers improve in that area and win the rebounding battle, and to finally have that improvement translate into a win.
The Tigers also hit 11-of-13 free throws this afternoon, good for 84.6%. Without those strong efforts, LSU probably wouldn’t have been able to keep up with Mizzou’s three point attack as they hit 12 from beyond the arc, led by senior Jordan Barnett. The small forward from St. Louis finished with 18 points, and shot an incredible 6-of-8 from downtown.
LSU will try to extend their home winning streak to five in a row Tuesday night, as the Vanderbilt Commodores head to Baton Rouge. The two teams met earlier this season in Nashville, a 77-71 loss for the Tigers.