Missouri toppled by LSU, loses 86-80 in overtime

The Tigers gave up a 14-point lead in the final two minutes of regulation after leading the No. 25 LSU Tigers for the majority of the second half.
LSU's Ja'vonte Smart signals to the crowd in celebration after hitting a game-tying 3 late in regulation of MU's 86-80 overtime loss to LSU on Saturday, Jan. 25 2018 at Mizzou Arena in Columbia, Mo.

Redshirt junior Ronnie Suggs fouled out in the final two seconds of regulation after setting a new career-high point total of 9 in a career-high 29 minutes played.

“Ref said that I walked into him, so I just need to better position myself for the rebound,” Suggs said.

The call resulted in roaring boos from a Mizzou Arena that seemed more packed than it had been all season, and one that had just seen its Tigers lose a 14-point lead in a matter of minutes. LSU was trailing by a single point; sink both from the charity stripe and it would win the game.

Freshman Emmitt Williams’ first shot bounced high off the rim. When he sunk the second shot, all it did was tie the game at 71 points, sending both teams of Tigers into overtime.

Missouri (10-8,1-5) ending up falling to No. 25 LSU (15-3, 5-0) 86-80 for its fifth conference loss of the season late Saturday evening in overtime. The last time Missouri beat its Tiger counterparts was January 2015.

“I have to find a way to get [the team] over the hump in a game like that,” coach Cuonzo Martin said.

Despite the loss, senior guard Jordan Geist had a career night, setting a new season-high point total of 25 points and a career-high 11 rebounds, making the game his first career double-double. He also received a technical foul early in the game along with four personal fouls, his most since he fouled out against Iowa State on Nov. 9.

“I thought Geist played really, really hard,” LSU coach Will Wade said. “He was tremendous. He was much more aggressive than we were for a vast majority of the game and it showed.”

Sophomore forward Jeremiah Tilmon also had a career-high night, not in points, but in minutes. He played 35, scoring 15 points and logging six rebounds. He finished the game one foul short of fouling out. It was his freshman teammate Xavier Pinson who ended up doing that, receiving five fouls in 14 minutes, but also adding 8 points.

Possibly more incredulous than Missouri giving up a 14-point lead was the total number of fouls collected between both teams. With Missouri called for 29 and LSU for 27 of its own, the total number of fouls came to 56. Besides Pinson and Suggs, LSU junior Marlon Taylor and Williams also fouled out.

The technical foul from Geist, as well as the one technical given even earlier in the game to fellow senior Kevin Puryear weren’t moments Geist was proud of.

“That was bad on our part. Being seniors, we can’t do that,” he said. “That hurt us at the end of the game. That’s four free throws they had the potential to make, so that hurts.”

While LSU had 34 defensive rebounds, it only scored 9 points off of those rebounds, reflective of its shooting as a whole. So far this season, LSU has shot 48.7 percent, but Missouri held them to 35.0 percent Saturday evening. Missouri suffered a similar bruising to its season stats, as in the absence of sophomore guard Mark Smith, the team only shot 25.0 percent from 3-point range compared to its average 38.4 percent.

“Even if you make mistakes offensively, prepare yourself defensively to get the stop, continue doing what you’re doing so that way they don’t get easy baskets,” coach Martin said of the lessons he hoped would come from the loss. “We didn’t do a good job with that.”

Missouri travels to No. 16 Auburn for a 7:30 p.m. CST tip-off on Wednesday. The Tigers have only won three games against ranked opponents since Cuonzo Martin took the reigns as coach.

Edited by Adam Cole | acole@themaneater.com

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