Da Boot Sports
By: Jordan Taylor
BATON ROUGE, LA: The 12th ranked Lady Tigers improved their record to 16-2 overall and 4-1 in the SEC with a thrilling 87-85 overtime victory over Missouri on Thursday night in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.
LSU survived an all out assault by Missouri from behind the three point arc, as the visiting Tigers would go 15-31 for 48%. Lauren Hanson (7 three pointers) and Hayley Frank (6 three pointers), along with Aijha Blackwell's 26 points, helped Mizzou keep pace with LSU all night.
Khayla Pointer led the Tigers in scoring tonight with 21 points and her last two points were the biggest as she scored the winning basket in the overtime period with five seconds left on the clock.
“I had enough confidence in myself to take the last shot and I wanted to win it for us,” Pointer said.
Cherry (20 points), Morris (17 points) and Aifuwa (15 points) would all contribute big, hitting big shots throughout the game. LSU dominated the paint with 42 points in the lane, while also out rebounded Missouri 45-31.
The 13-3 Missouri Tigers were never intimidated by the Bayou Ben-Gals, as they had already gone toe-to-toe with #1 ranked
South Carolina, upsetting the Cocks in overtime 70-69 in December.
"We got rattled when Autumn went down with the injury," Mulkey said. "I hope she's okay. I didn't have a doctor or trainer tell me anything". ... “I love to watch young people compete,” Coach Mulkey added. "Everything about the game tonight I loved. It wasn't an ugly game, it was a well-played game."
Missouri controlled the opening tip but it would be LSU who would kick off the night's scoring when Jailin Cherry drained
a mid range shot.
The visiting Tigers would answer right back to tie the game up, before Faustine Aifuwa would get busy in the paint scoring three straight baskets to put LSU up 8-2.
Mizzou began connecting from three point land late in the first period to keep the contest close, as LSU would lead 24-18 after the first ten minutes of the game.
LSU began to take control of the game in the second period with tough defense and strong rebounding as they would take a commanding 44-33 lead at halftime.
Khayla Pointer led the team at the half with 14 points, while Cherry and Aifuwa both finished the first half with 8 points each. Autumn Newby was a force on the glass in the first half, grabbing ten rebounds during the first 12 minutes of the contest, finishing with 12 boards at the half.
Missouri began the third period with aggressive play, hitting shots while playing tough defense as they slowly cut into LSU's lead.
The Lady Tigers would sputter through most of the period, especially after losing Autumn Newby to a leg injury. At the 5:23 mark, Mizzou had cut the LSU lead to two points, 52-50. However, the home team Tigers scratched and clawed to increase their lead to 62-57 at the end of the third period.
Going into the final period, it was obvious that this contest was going to go down to the wire. With five minutes left in the game, LSU looked to be in control of the game, leading 73-66, but Mizzou would go away and battled back to tie the game at 73-73 with 2:54 to go.
Both teams played even over the final three minutes of regulation as we would head to overtime knotted up at 79-79, after Lauren Hansen missed a layup for the win with two seconds left.
LSU controlled the tipoff to begin the overtime period and would score four straight. But Missouri responded with a 4-0 run of their own to tie the game up at 83-83 with 2:58 left on the clock.
Alexis Morris drained a go ahead jumper at the one minute mark, putting LSU up, 85-83. With 30 seconds left in the extra period, the Lady Tigers had possession of the ball, but turned it over while trying to inbounds the ball under the Mizzou basket.
Haley Troup would go to the free throw line for the visiting Tigers with 13 seconds left, hitting both charity shots to once again tie the game up at 85-85.
Khayla Pointer took matters into her own hands scoring on a beautiful drive to the basket with five second left. Alexis Morris blocked Mizzou's last second shot attempt to help LSU hold on to a 87-85 thrilling victory.
Next up the Lady Tigers are scheduled to host Vanderbilt on Sunday, Jan 16th at 12 noon.... The game will be televised on SEC Network...
Photos Below By: Michael Bacigalupi