Missouri 81 | LSU 76
1st Half Notes
- LSU senior Parker Edwards has two threes so far. He has played one total minute this season and was getting the start tonight for the Bayou Bengal’s last home game.
- Hodge opens the scoring for Mizzou with a lay-in. He has the first five.
- LSU is really hot tonight, seems like they are carrying over momentum from their last home game against Vanderbilt.
- Tre Gomillion just out-worked two LSU defenders for a tip-out rebound. Immediately making an impact off the bench.
- Kobe Brown with a great block at the rim.
- 12:54: Gholston with two early 3s. Maybe he will be the hot hand tonight.
- Shaw with a rare three to cut into the LSU lead.
- Again, LSU is very hot tonight. They have started out 6-for-8 from the floor. Gates takes a timeout, and his team has allowed too many open looks from outside.
- KJ Williams with 10 points in this game, leading all scorers. Three-point field goal differential is the only drastic stat in this game.
- Noah Carter just tried to tear down the rim and put Adam Miller on a poster, but it was an ambitious attempt.
- 3:53: Mizzou has not shot a free throw in this game, while LSU has attempted 8.
- There’s a deep Nick Honor three. Mizzou will need more of that to get back in this game.
- 1:59: Noah Carter picks up his second foul on a questionable call.
- Parker Edwards is back in the game. Why is Mizzou not at least going at him once to see how it goes?
- Thank you DeAndre Gholston for accomplishing what I mentioned above.
2nd Half Notes
- Second half opens with a Parker Edwards highlight reel. Sigh.
- Gholston opens the scoring with a jumper, he leads Mizzou with 14.
- Hodge gets a runout layup, forcing Matt McMahon to call a timeout.
- Mizzou has opened the half on a 6-0 run.
- 18:09: Three fouls for Kobe Brown, have to wonder when Gates will get him back in with Missouri mounting a rally.
- 11-2 run allowed Missouri to cut into the lead, and they’ve forced seven turnovers in the first three minutes.
- Hodge has been an absolute menace on the defensive end throughout this game. He just tied the Missouri single-season record for steals, and he has three tonight.
- Mizzou has gotten close on a couple of occasions in the half thus far, but LSU has had an answer every time. An Adam Miller three silences the Mizzou rally for now.
- 11:27: Two straight 3s from Hodge have tied this game. He’s caught fire, and the team as a whole has flipped the script of this game in the second half.
- Teams have traded buckets over the last couple of minutes. Williams has taken over on the offensive end for LSU, and he already has a double-double with 22 and 11.
- 5:39: A scoreless 2:22 allows the Bayou Bengals to claim a six-point lead.
- Kobe Brown to the line after the under four timeout.
- Back and forth we go. Both teams are making big shots down the stretch of this game.
- Of course a Hodge three gives Mizzou their first lead of the game. On a hectic possession no less.
- East II to the line with a chance to win ice this game.
- He does it.
- Gholston, Hodge, Honor, Brown, Diarra are your starters.
5 Fan Questions:
- Who will lead the team in scoring?
- How many steals will D’Moi Hodge have?
- Will Mizzou have over or under 15 assists?
- How many points will Kobe Brown have?
- What will the halftime score be?
Lastly, drop your game predictions and MVPs down below.
Missouri men’s basketball fans are keyed in on two things this week—securing a NCAA Tournament bid and earning a top-four seed in the SEC—the latter, a feat that would give the Tigers a double-bye in the Southeastern Conference Tournament.
The first step in completing those goals is to travel to the Bayou and take down a LSU program with a dangerous mentality—nothing to lose.
Under first-year head coach Matt McMahon, the Tigers have fallen to the SEC cellar with a dreadful 2-14 record in conference play and lost 14 straight games to begin the new year. LSU finally earned a victory at home against Vanderbilt one week ago, and it will try to pick up a second-consecutive victory in Baton Rouge.
Missouri has yet to win at Pete Maravich Assembly Center, losing all six of its road contests there. The Dennis Gates-led Tigers will look to spoil that trend, riding the momentum of their two-game winning streak. Mizzou defeated Georgia by 22 points Saturday.
These two teams did meet exactly four weeks ago in Columbia, resulting in a 10-point victory for Mizzou. The hometown Tigers did not look comfortable on the defensive end in that game, which will be an area LSU tries to exploit again while playing the role of SEC spoiler.
When: Wednesday, March 1
Where: Pete Maravich Assembly Center, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Time: 8:00 p.m. CST
TV: SEC Network
KenPom Win Probability: 67%
PG: Nick Honor (Grad, 8.3 PPG)
SG: D’Moi Hodge (Grad, 14.0 PPG)
SF: DeAndre Gholston (Grad, 10.0 PPG)
PF: Kobe Brown (SR, 16.1 PPG)
C: Mohamed Diarra (JR, 3.7 PPG)
Key Depth: Tre Gomillion (G, Grad, 5.3 PPG), Sean East II (G, SR, 7.8 PPG), Noah Carter (F, SR, 9.1 PPG)
PG: Cam Hayes (JR; 8.1 PPG)
SG: Adam Miller (SO; 11.7 PPG)
SF: Tyrell Ward (FR; 3.6 PPG)
PF: KJ Williams (Fifth-Year; 17.1 PPG)
C: Derek Fountain (JR; 7.9 PPG)
Key Depth: Trae Hannibal (G, SR, 6.4 PPG), Justice Hill (G, SR, 6.3 PPG) and Shawn Phillips (F, FR, 0.7 PPG)
Get To Know LSU...Again!
LSU continues to search for an identity and a positive performance to build upon, but its season is nearing a quick end.
The Tigers have instead watched their season fall into shambles as the standout season from fifth-year senior KJ Williams goes to waste. Williams ranks second in the SEC with 17.1 points per game and adds 7.3 rebounds per game, good for seventh-best in the conference.
He is the heart and soul of this LSU team, which scores only 67.2 points per game while allowing 70. A key reason behind its lack of success is shooting woes. The Tigers shoot 41.5% from the field, including a 47.1% on two-pointers.
In its first matchup against Missouri, LSU pieced together its second-highest scoring SEC game with 77 points. The visiting Tigers shot 48.5% on two-pointers and made 11-of-33 3-pointers at Mizzou Arena to give Mizzou a scare.
One big advantage for LSU in that first matchup was the boards, an area that’ll be of high demand tonight. Missouri only grabbed six fewer total rebounds but allowed the Tigers to create a plethora of second-chance opportunities with 15(!) offensive rebounds.
Rebounding is one of LSU’s strengths, grabbing offensive rebounds on 30.5% of misses. With how many shots the Bayou Tigers miss per game, that number can increase exponentially and lead to second-chance baskets as well as more fouls.
LSU is nothing special on the defensive end, evidenced by its performance in the first meeting. Missouri shot 62.5% within the arc and carried that success beyond it as well, knocking down 48.1% of its triples.
McMahon’s Tigers can create offensive opportunities with its quick hands. LSU averages seven steals per game, but the Tigers also turn the ball over 12.5 times per game. Missouri only forced 12 turnovers in the first meeting, aiding in LSU’s ability to stay within 10.
Balanced scoring helped the Tigers reach their 77-point total as well. Six different LSU players scored at least 10 points, led by Williams’ 15-point, 11-rebound outing. Missouri’s defense forced players other than Williams to beat them, and the visitors nearly answered the call.
Heading into this rematch, Cam Hayes will be a name to watch. The junior point guard went scoreless in LSU’s loss to Ole Miss Saturday but will look to unleash the brunt of his 34.7% 3-point percentage on a vulnerable Mizzou perimeter defense.
Williams scored 29 points against the Rebels, while sophomore guard Adam Miller added 15. They will be the hot hands for the Tigers, providing a punch from the inside and outside. Miller attempted 11 3-pointers against Missouri in the first meeting and will likely aim for a similar total along senior Justice Hill, who also attempted 11 in the losing effort.
Freshman forward Tyrell Ward played only eight minutes against Mizzou in the first meeting while bouncing back from limited minutes. He has since played at least 15 minutes per game and will command attention as another potential 3-point and explosive threat.
3 Keys To The Game
1. Generate open looks for Hodge and Honor
Missouri played to perfection in the second half against Georgia, consistently working D’Moi Hodge and Nick Honor into open space and giving them 3-point opportunities.
For Hodge, the success needs to come via ball movement and screens to generate catch-and-shoot looks. Honor, on the other hand, operates as a off-the-dribble 3-point threat. Activating these strengths against a subpar LSU defense will need to be priority No. 1.
2. Make life difficult for Williams...without fouling
Missouri followed this gameplay quite effectively in the first matchup, and it’ll need to do the same to avoid a full-on onslaught from Williams.
The forward is on a tear of late, scoring 64 points in his last two games. He has attempted 15 3-pointers over the stretch, making seven of them. Williams is showcasing his ability to be a multi-dimensional player, a factor that will make life even more difficult.
Mohamed Diarra, Kobe Brown and Noah Carter will have their hands full with Williams. Carter, in particular, has faced foul trouble consistently, including against Georgia. It’ll be up to the senior forward to defend straight-up while limiting the easy opportunities for Williams.
LSU will be able to dictate the paint behind Williams and junior forward Derek Fountain, so finding a solution will be needed early.
3. Keep guards back to rebound
Yes, this is quite counter-productive to Missouri’s usual up-tempo style.
However, as Texas A&M coach Buzz Williams mentioned following the Aggies’ victory over Missouri, keeping guards back to rebound against teams that rely heavily on the 3-point shot is an important factor in determining the rebounding battle.
LSU, although they aren’t necessarily effective at it, loves to shoot the 3-point jumper. If Mizzou can force misses on those opportunities, having guards back to rebound will generate more offensive possessions through defensive rebounds. Using this same tactic, Texas A&M was able to grab 11 more defensive rebounds than Missouri.
Tre Gomillion is the Tiger to watch in particular. He is a true rebounding threat, grabbing 10 boards against Mississippi State. Gomillion will be able to command that physical presence even against a dominant LSU duo of Fountain and Williams.
My Prediction: Missouri 88 | LSU 73
KenPom Prediction: Missouri 80 | LSU 75
DraftKings SportsBook: Mizzou +5.5 | O/U 149
Missouri has shown improvement in each second meeting this season, defeating Mississippi State and Arkansas while only losing to the Aggies by nine points. Even against a team like LSU, Gates will have the Tigers motivated to improve and finish strong.
There is a level of uncertainty considering the fact that Missouri has never won in Baton Rouge, but the Tigers looked like they discovered something about their team in Saturday’s dominant second-half performance against Georgia.
I believe that momentum will carry over as will the emotions that come with a sense of belief and optimism from the fanbase. Missouri fans believe in Gates and this Tigers’ team, which is not something that can be said for many teams of recent past.
It’ll require an efficient outing from Hodge and Honor as well as a motivated showing from Brown, but I think this’ll be the victory that punches Mizzou’s ticket into the NCAA Tournament and brings them one win closer to a double-bye, which will require the Tigers to win-out with Tennessee and Auburn to both lose at least one game. (They play each other, so one will be guaranteed...)
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