No. 25 LSU puts perfect SEC mark on line at Missouri

No. 25 LSU is off to an undefeated start in SEC play.

Missouri is struggling to get just its second victory in league play.

Two sets of Tigers heading in different directions will meet Saturday in Columbia, Mo.

LSU (15-3) has won eight games in a row and is 5-0 in SEC play for the first time since 2006 after a 92-82 home victory against Georgia on Wednesday night. But coach Will Wade wasn't thrilled with his team's first performance since re-entering the Top 25.

"We didn't play very well. I'm not real pleased about things," Wade said. "We have a lot of stuff we have to get better about. We were exposed a little bit tonight in some areas we haven't been.

"Our defense, our post defense, our overall defense, it looked like it did at the beginning of the year. We have a lot, a lot, of work to do. This is not what we expect and not to our standard."

LSU led by as many as 17 points in the second half, but Georgia got within seven points twice. The Bulldogs couldn't get any closer, though, thanks primarily to Tigers guard Tremont Waters, who scored 26 points, making 9 of 14 field goal attempts. He had had four assists and four steals and didn't turn the ball over.

"We all knew it was not our best game," Waters said. "(But) we were a great team and were able to pull it out and we just have to keep building and learn from it."

Skylar Mays added 20 points, making 5 of 9 shots from the field and 8 of 8 free throw attempts.

"Tre and Sky bailed us out with their offense," Wade said.

"We were able to score pretty much at will against their matchup (zone) and against their man. We scored 92 points and only turned it over eight times. That's not where our issues are. We can score decent. We're going to get exposed on Saturday if we don't correct some things."

Missouri (10-7, 1-4) appeared determined to get its second SEC victory when it raced to a 17-4 lead at Arkansas on Wednesday.

But the Razorbacks climbed within two points at halftime and used a 10-0 run late in the game to create some breathing room in a 72-60 victory.

"In SEC play the lead is never safe," Missouri senior forward Kevin Puryear told the Columbia Tribune.

When the Razorbacks went to a smaller lineup and turned up the defensive pressure, the game changed.

"I thought we had poise and didn't let them speed us up. I thought we stayed at our speed," Puryear said of the start of the game. "As the game went on we got sped up, turned the ball over and had careless mistakes that eventually killed us."

Missouri turned the ball over 24 times, one fewer than its season-worst total against Iowa State. Arkansas scored 27 points off the turnovers.

"It's pretty much the same old song and it's kind of getting exhausting to talk about, turning the ball over 24 times," Puryear said.

Sophomore guard Mark Smith, the top 3-point shooter in the SEC at 47.5 percent, scored 22 points, making 8 of 14 shots, including a career-high six 3-pointers in 11 attempts.

Smith suffered what appeared to be ankle injury late in the game and did not return. His status for Saturday's game was uncertain, as was that for starting guard Javon Pickett, who was limited because of a back injury against Arkansas.

--Field Level Media

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