As expected, Missouri freshman guard Montaque Gill-Caesar sat out the SEC opener Thursday against LSU at Mizzou Arena.
Gill-Caesar, MU’s second-leading scorer at 11.5 points per game, experienced back spasms while warming up Saturday before the Tigers knocked off Lipscomb.
An MRI and bone scan revealed no structural damage, but Gill-Caesar remains sore.
He suffered the initial injury Dec. 20 on a flagrant foul by Illinois’ Leron Black, which sent Gill-Caesar awkwardly crashing to the floor on his lower back.
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“I don’t know how fast he’s going to be back,” MU coach Kim Anderson said. “It’s day-to-day, but I don’t get the feeling that it’s going to be tomorrow.”
Gill-Caesar’s status for Missouri’s game Saturday at Auburn remains uncertain.
Sophomore Namon Wright got the start in Gill-Caesar’s place on Thursday and drilled three key first-half three-pointers.
Wright finished with nine points, five rebounds, two assists, two turnovers and a steal in 33 minutes.
▪ Missouri freshman point guard Tramaine Isabell hobbled off the floor with 47.8 seconds remaining after banging knees with an LSU player.
He did not return, but Anderson said he thought Isabell would be fine.
▪ Key play: LSU sophomore guard Tim Quarterman drove the baseline and was met by Missouri senior Keanau Post for a devastating block.
▪ Key stat: LSU’s sophomore frontcourt duo, Jarell Martin and Jordan Mickey, were limited to two points in the first half. Mickey did grab seven first-half rebounds.
▪ Key play: LSU junior Keith Hornsby connected on the game-tying three-pointer with 10.1 seconds left. He finished with 17 points and eight rebounds in a game-high 43 minutes.
▪ Key stat: After shooting below 36 percent in the first half, Missouri went 15 of 32 from the field in the second half (46.9 percent).
▪ Key play: Down 68-67, LSU sophomore Jordan Mickey secured an offensive rebound, but later in the possession he threw the ball away on a lob pass. It was the last time LSU had a chance to take the lead.
▪ Key stat: LSU went zero of eight from the field and two of five at the free-throw line in overtime.