BATON ROUGE, La. — Missouri came into Saturday afternoon’s game at LSU as the hottest team in the SEC with five straight wins. Thanks to LSU guards Tremont Waters and Daryl Edwards, that streak is over.
Waters scored a game-high 21 points, including the go-ahead bucket with 9 seconds remaining, lifting LSU to a thrilling 64-63 win over the visiting Tigers.
Edwards made the game-clinching play on defense, subtly making sure he was outside of the no-charge semicircle underneath the basket before planting his feet and drawing the foul on an out-of-control drive by Missouri guard Kassius Robertson with 5 seconds left.
But like any streaking team, Mizzou (18-9, 8-6 SEC) wasn’t done until the final buzzer. Mizzou intercepted Edwards’ inbound pass to Waters, allowing Robertson to get off a good look for the win with 1 second remaining. But the off-balance attempt did not go down, allowing LSU to breathe a sigh of relief and pick up its fourth-straight home win.
The back-and-forth game featured 19 lead changes and 12 ties.
3 Keys to LSU’s win over Missouri
Missouri kept LSU in the game with an absolutely miserable performance on the free-throw line. Mizzou was 7 of 17 (41.2 percent) from the free-throw line.
LSU, on the other hand, excelled on the line, making 11 of 13 attempts.
Slowing Missouri’s 3-point shooting
Missouri was red-hot from long range in the first half, hitting 6 of 7 3-point attempts, but LSU was able to slow down that production after halftime. The visiting Tigers finished 12 of 21 behind the arc.
And it really was a matter of red-hot outside shooting. LSU defended fairly well, forcing 12 Mizzou turnovers and allowing the Tigers to shoot only 37 percent (10 of 27) from 2-point range.
The rims were not as forgiving for the home team. Though LSU hit some timely 3s, the Tigers finished 9 of 27 (33.3 percent) from outside.
Edwards was nothing to write home about on offense, finishing the game 2-for-8 from the field after earning the start thanks to his effort in LSU’s otherwise lackluster game at Alabama. But Edwards’ defense made Robertson uncomfortable early in the game. Then Edwards made the defensive play of the day when he drew the late charge.
“He’s the type of guy you want to be around when he’s off the court. On the court, he’s a beast on defense,” Waters said. “We put him on their best ballhandler. Daryl just brings a toughness to our team.”
LSU coach Will Wade breaks down the win
LSU-Missouri box score
What’s next for LSU basketball?
The Tigers (15-11, 6-8) will look to avenge their road loss at Vanderbilt when the Commodores visit the PMAC at 8 p.m. CT on Tuesday night. Vandy beat LSU 77-71 in Nashville on Jan. 20.