BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Darius Days scored seven of his 20 points in the final five minutes as No. 25 LSU rallied to beat Missouri 82-78 on Tuesday night.
LSU (18-6, 9-2 Southeastern Conference) trailed by eight points midway through the second half before taking the lead for good at 72-69 on Days’ 3-pointer with 4:43 remaining. Missouri (11-13, 3-8) stayed close over the final minutes.
With LSU leading 76-73, Days made a short shot following an offensive rebound with 25 seconds left. After Missouri again got within three on Xavier Pinson’s basket, Days made two free throws with 11 seconds left.
Following Dru Smith’s 3-pointer, Javonte Smart made two free throws with 0.9 seconds left to clinch LSU’s victory.
Skylar Mays led LSU with 23 points. Days also had 10 rebounds. Smart had 15 points, while Trendon Watford and Emmitt Williams each had 11.
Dru Smith led Missouri with 20 points. Reed Nikko matched his career high with 13 points, while Javon Pickett and Mitchell Smith each had 10 points.
Missouri led LSU for nearly the entire first half. LSU had just five field goals in the first 16-plus minutes. Missouri’s defense and rebounding provided a 12-point advantage three times.
Over the last 3½ minutes before halftime, LSU made five field goals – two by Williams and Watford and one by Mays. Watford’s layup at the buzzer left LSU behind Missouri 43-37 at the half. Missouri made seven 3-pointers, while LSU was 0-for-9 behind the arc in the first 20 minutes.
Missouri: The Tigers dropped their sixth consecutive SEC road game this season. The average margin of defeat for Missouri in the previous five losses had been 18.4 points.
LSU: The Tigers ended a two-game losing streak and remained tied for first place in the SEC with No. 12 Kentucky, which won at Vanderbilt. Auburn can make it a three-way tie for the SEC lead by defeating Alabama on Wednesday.
Missouri returns home to play Auburn on Saturday.
LSU visits Alabama on Saturday.