The Missouri Tigers women’s basketball team had maybe the single most impressive win across all of Division 1 hoops back on December 30 when they upset No. 1 South Carolina in overtime.
Flash forward two weeks and history nearly repeated itself for Missouri...if not for the efforts of Khayla Pointer and Alex Morris that is.
Pointer hit what would be the game winning shot with five seconds to play in overtime and Alex Morris made a game saving block on Missouri’s ensuing possession. The win boosted LSU’s record to 16-2 overall and 4-1 in conference play.
“I had enough confidence in myself to take the last shot and I wanted to win it for us,” Pointer said.
Thursday night was the polar opposite of LSU’s blowout win over Auburn Sunday but LSU will be all the better for it as tournament play looms on the horizon.
“I love to watch young people compete,” Kim Mulkey said. “Everything about the game tonight I loved. It wasn’t an ugly game; It was a well played game.”
LSU’s guard play between Pointer and Jailin Cherry was once again phenomenal. Pointer had 21 points while Cherry was right behind her with 20. The duo also combined for 11 rebounds and 15 assists and both players played all 45 minutes.
Morris was excellent as well with 17 points, seven rebounds, and one game saving block. Faustine Aifuwa was the fourth Tiger to score at least 15 points and also six boards and two blocks.
LSU opened the game with a six-point first quarter lead and went into half up 11. But Missouri never wavered, getting the game within five going into the third quarter and tying the game thanks to a 22-17 advantage in the fourth. The other Tigers are tops in the SEC in three point attempts and second in percentage and, true to form, the three ball made the trip from CoMo to the PMAC.
Missouri as a team attempted 31 threes—they average 20—and hit on 15 of them. The three ball is the great equalizer in basketball and they used their best weapon to force overtime on the road against a ranked opponent. But Missouri would go 0-6 from three in overtime and that ultimately proved to be the difference.
Thursday wasn’t all good for LSU, however. Autumn Newby left Thursday’s game with some kind of injury to her lower left leg/ankle and couldn’t put any weight on it as she was helped off the floor. Newby was playing awesome basketball for LSU, grabbing 12 rebounds in only 19 minutes of action.
“A big turning point,” Mulkey said. “We got rattled when Autumn went down with the injury. And that’s when we just had to get our composure.”
Mulkey had no update on Newby’s injury after the game.
With the win, LSU keeps pace with Tennessee (5-0 in conference) and South Carolina (4-1 in conference) and is now two games up in the win column over both Ole Miss and Mississippi State. The top four teams at season’s end gets a double bye for the conference tournament.
Next up the Tigers are back inside the PMAC for a Sunday matchup with Vanderbilt. Tipoff is set for noon and the game will be carried on SEC Network.