• Key play: A steal and a dunk by LSU guard Charles Carmouche made the score 11-6 and ignited an early run that helped LSU jump out to a 17-6 lead that set the tone.
• Key stat: Missouri shot 26.9 percent from the field in the first half, compared with 56 percent for LSU.
• Key play: Missouri had a chance to tie when LSU guard Anthony Hickey split a pair of free throws that made the score 66-63, but a quick three by Pressey rimmed out, and Stringer, who was promptly fouled by Pressey, made two free throws to give LSU a 68-63 lead with 38.5 seconds left.
• Key stat: Missouri fought its way back into the game by outrebounding LSU 39-26. That includes a 16-3 advantage on the offensive boards.
Oriakhi in foul trouble
Missouri played most of the second half without senior forward Alex Oriakhi, who is averaging around 10 points and nine rebounds per game but only tallied one point and three rebounds in 16 minutes on Wednesday. He picked up his fourth foul with about ten minutes remaining and only played three minutes in the second half.
“Alex, he can’t stay on the floor on the road, and that hurts us,” said Haith of Oriakhi, who also struggled in January road losses to against Mississippi and Florida.
“He comes out of the game … and it’s not good for us. He’s got to learn to play without fouling.”
• Haith said Missouri also missed senior guard Keion Bell, who could have helped defend LSU guards Anthony Hickey (20 points) and Andre Stringer (18 points). Bell missed the game with a shoulder injury he suffered in practice on Monday.
“No sprain, no strain, no structural damage,” Haith said. “It just hurt him too bad to play.”
Haith begrudged his team’s perimeter defense, admitting that the Tigers needed to improve in that area.
“That position has really killed us on the road, the point guard position,” Haith said. “Go back and look at it. We haven’t been able to defend that position. We’ve got to get better at it.”
| Terez A. Paylor, email@example.com