Missouri's Alex Oriakhi, top, dunks the ball over LSU's Andrew Del Piero and Johnny O'Bryant III during Missouri's 89-76 win on Saturday.
Sun, 03 Mar 2013 01:43:41 GMT — This was Revenge, Part III. It just wasn't REVENGE, PART III!!! In road losses/home wins against Florida and Ole Miss, the turnarounds for the Missouri Tigers were both a staggering 34 points. By the numbers against LSU, the revenge was just half as sweet --- 16 points. But it tasted just as good.It's always great to get even. Staying perfect at home, the Tigers shook off a shaky start and some shoddy defense to knock off the LSU Tigers 89-76 before a crowd of 14,212 at Mizzou Arena."It's a good win," Missouri coach Frank Haith said. "LSU is a very good team."Mmmm, not really.Playing in the lousy SEC, LSU (17-10, 8-8) can only break even. These Tigers have also lost by 19 points to Boise State, a school that would be a perfect fit in the SEC --- really good at football, not so much at basketball.LSU looked good early on, however. After dropping into a 6-0 hole, the Bayou Tigers put together a 25-6 run to take a 13-point lead, a spurt capped on a 3-pointer by Charles Carmouche with 10:31 left in the first half."I think we did a good job of coming out and throwing the first punch," Carmouche said, "and letting them know that we were here to win the ball game."This would have been news for LSU, which is now just 2-8 on the road. Its only road wins have come against SEC doormats Mississippi State and South Carolina --- the same two teams which supplied Missouri's two road wins.Missouri (21-8, 10-6) fired back with a 29-8 explosion, which included seven of Laurence Bowers' 23 points and three of his 10 rebounds."Coach sent me a text this morning (let's hope he wasn't driving) that said just play free, and that's what I did," Bowers said. "And it really helped me."I just have to continue to keep that approach throughout the rest of the season."Missouri held as much as an eight-point lead, 41-33, before taking a 43-39 advantage into the break.The only reason LSU stayed close was by making 8-of-14 3-pointers --- most, if not all, were uncontested shots. They finished the game 12-of-28.LSU had more wide-open looks than a cowboy on the Kansas prairie."I think that we were very good, offensively, the entire game," Haith said, "but we have to be more consistent on defense."Missouri built a 16-point lead in the second half and the outcome was never in doubt. And while the 3-point defense wasn't very good, the Tigers' interior offense was even better.Alex Oriakhi totaled 18 points and 10 rebounds, as Missouri held a 35-30 edge on the glass a a whopping 52-22 bulge on points in the paint."That's who we are, that's our identity --- we have to have paint presence every night," Haith said. "With Laurence and Alex, we got the kind of production that we need." Earnest Ross added 13 points and Keion Bell had 11 for the winners.Then there was Phil Pressey.Some games, the junior point guard shoots too much, like 24 attempts against Kentucky.Other games, he doesn't shoot enough, like zero attempts against South Carolina.But on this day, the Pressey Porridge was just right --- 11 shot attempts, 15 points, two steals, and eight assists compared to just two turnovers. "That's good balance," Haith said. "He had a great night tonight." Missouri- --- now 16-0 at Mizzou Arena --- completes the home campaign when it hosts Arkansas (73-71 winners over MU last month) at 6 p.m. Tuesday on Senior Night. It's time to say farewell to Bowers, Oriakhi and Bell. This should also be Revenge, Part IV. Especially since it's against Mike Anderson.
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