After a disappointing week where LSU blew leads against both South Carolina and Kentucky, the Tigers (20-9, 8-8) came back home to the PMAC and ended the losing skid with a 20-point win over Missouri.
Missouri scored the first six points of Saturday’s game but from that point onward it was all LSU. The purple and gold Tigers were able to quickly erase that early six point deficit and go in to halftime with a six point lead of their own. Then in the second half LSU left Missouri in the dust and led by as many as 25 points.
“The ball moved a little bit better, we played inside out, we got fouled,” Will Wade said. “I was really proud of our free throw shooting. I was really pleased with our ball movement. When the ball moves we’re very good.”
Darius Days scored all 10 of his points in the second half; Brandon Murray scored nine of his 11 points in the second half; Tari Eason, on the other hand, had a perfectly symmetrical game scoring 18 points total, nine in each half.
Was Saturday’s effort against Missouri a turning point or will it end up being fool’s gold? That is to be determined but remember just 10 days ago LSU beat up on an equally bad Georgia team at home and then promptly dropped two games in a row to South Carolina and Kentucky. Now LSU’s got to go on the road to play Arkansas, who might be the hottest team in the country, and Alabama who have beaten the Tigers four straight dating back to last season.
I’m no Joe Lunardi but in my opinion LSU will need to split these last two regular season games to be safe for the NCAA Tournament. Fortunately LSU is still top-20 in both NET and KenPom so maybe they’re a safer bet than I’m giving them credit for—and for what it’s worth bracketmatrix.com has LSU as a 6-seed. Still if the Tigers do drop these final two games, and I hate to say it but there’s a very real chance they will, they’ll be 20-11 overall but 8-10 in SEC play and losers of four of the past five.
LSU’s been trending downward lately. Saturday night they did a good job reversing the trend, now they’ll need to carryover that momentum for these crucial final two games of the regular season.