A day after LSU head coach Will Wade said there are no easy road wins in the Southeastern Conference, it looked as though his team would finally suffer its first SEC loss of the season trailing Missouri 70-56 with 2:14 remaining in regulation.
What happened next would be considered unrealistic if portrayed in a work of fiction.
No. 25 LSU (16-3, 6-0 SEC) erased the 14-point deficit to force overtime, where it won 86-80 to stun a crowd of Missouri (10-8, 1-5) fans in Mizzou Arena.
LSU’s offense look anemic for the first 37.5 minutes of the game before junior guard Skylar Mays did his best Reggie Miller impression and rattled off 9 consecutive points in the span of 27 seconds with two 3-pointerse and an old-fashioned 3-point play that cut Missouri’s lead to five points with 1:41 remaining in regulation.
Only 20 seconds later after a free throw by Jordan Geist, Tremont Waters turned it into a one-possession game with a 3-pointer that cut Missouri’s lead to 71-68.
LSU’s next three points came off free throws, the first two by Naz Reid and the last one by Emmitt Williams, who reached the line going for an offensive rebound after a missed layup by Waters that would have put LSU ahead by a point.
After missing his first free throw attempt with 2.2 seconds left, Williams made the second with a shot that bounced off the rim a couple times before falling through the net to force overtime.
Ja’vonte Smart picked things up in the overtime period, hitting two huge 3-pointers to give LSU a lead that they were able to hold onto with good defense and made free throws down the stretch.
The improbable comeback victory kept LSU undefeated in SEC play and evened its conference record with No. 1 Tennessee, the league’s only other unbeaten team.
Geist had a stellar night for Missouri, shooting 7 of 14 from the field for a game-high 25 points and 11 rebounds to earn the double-double.
Skylar Mays ended up leading LSU in scoring thanks in large part to his late-game heroic, shooting 6 for 12 from the field for 24 points.
Waters had 13 points and 9 assists, while Reid had 14 points and 8 rebounds. Smart finished with 14 points after shooting 4 for 9 from the 3-point line.
Despite coming into the game as the SEC’s top scoring team through conference play thus far, it looked as though Missouri had cracked the code, limiting LSU to under 35 percent shooting for a majority of the contest.
LSU struggled in large part due to early foul trouble as five of its eight rotation players picked up multiple fouls in the first half, including all four of its post players in Reid, Williams, Kavell Bigby-Williams and Darius Days. Of them, only Days ended up fouling out.