Priede leads Mizzou with 18 points in 78 – 74 loss in overtime against LSU

Missouri's Liene Priede (32) charges to the basket in Friday's game. Priede made 18 points in the game.

Missouri’s Liene Priede (32) charges to the basket in Friday’s game. Priede made 18 points in the game.

 
Story by Elaine Stockdale
Photos by Karen Mitchell

It was the first match up between Missouri and Louisiana State University since Nov. 27, 1989. The crowd stood celebrating in response to a crucial play by senior Liene Priede, who finished with a career best of 18 points for Missouri in their four-point loss to LSU.

With just under a minute of play left, Priede dished the ball out to Kyley Simmons. Shooting wide open, Simmons hit a 3-pointer – tying the game at 66. The game went into overtime, the crowd still on their feet.

LSU had a 12-point lead only minutes into the second half, but Priede kept pushing and fighting to chase down the LSU lead, a lead that Missouri failed to surpass until overtime.

Almost immediately after subbing back in with under nine minutes left on the clock in the second half, Priede hit a jumper, bringing Missouri within three, breaking a 7 – 0 run by LSU. After a five minute break on the bench, LSU went on a 5 – 0 run. Priede came back on the court only to hit another jumper with a little more than three minutes of game time left. Then another 3-pointer with her next shot, bringing Missouri within three points again.

Priede made these crucial shots and plays in fewer than five minutes of court time. Her last pass to Simmons was a game-tying play in the final minutes. Priede’s fighting and pushing paid off for a chance to lead in overtime, but not enough for the win.

“Senior years are tough, you know it’s the last year and sometimes you can run with it and embrace it,” coach Robin Pingeton said in reference to Priede. “She’s pushed through it and worked herself through the year, the last few weeks and months she been playing really well, that’s what we expect of her.”

Senior Liz Smith was quick to put first points on the board in overtime, giving Missouri their first lead of the game. Smith finished with 15 points and three rebounds. She battled the game out against LSU center Theresa Plaisance, a player almost twice the size of Smith and the Southeastern Conference’s leading scorer with an average of 17.6 points a game.

“Smith has had an outstanding senior year, she might not be as athletic as some of the kids she plays against, but I think she’s absolutely maximizing every ounce of her senior year,” Pingeton said. “She’s playing so many minutes, she’s stronger, tougher. Mentally, physically and emotionally, she’s probably the best she’s ever played before. It’s her first time playing at this level and under this light. I love how Liz played today, she was aggressive, she wanted the ball and she wasn’t intimidated.”

With four Missouri shots blocks by LSU in overtime, LSU made their free throws count, taking back the lead they held on to for so long. LSU outscored Missouri in the last three minutes of overtime, Bri Kulas made a jumper followed by a 3-pointer with under 10 seconds to go, but it was a little too late after an overtime 9 – 0 run by LSU. Kulas finished the game as the second leading scorer for Missouri, with 17 points and six rebounds.

Missouri has four straight losses with their last win being almost three weeks ago against Tennessee.

“It’s frustrating, when you break down each game, we had a let down against Mississippi State with no excuses, had a hard time responding to Tennessee and we had an off shooting night against Vanderbilt,” Pingeton said. “At Vanderbilt it was the first time in the facility, I was pleased with our effort there, unfortunately just offensively the shots weren’t falling,the  Arkansas game, well that was really, really disappointing”

In Missouri’s last two games, they failed to score 50 points and struggled with three pointers. Today, they broke the 50 point mark and improved their efficiency beyond the arc. But turnovers continued to plague Missouri, as they finished with a team total of 21.

Coach Pingeton said there were a number of factors you could put turnovers down to.

“There’s a little bit of everything, break down in communication, to lose with the ball, a couple times we make that home run instead of the high percentage pass, some are forced you can’t help that but there is no way we should have 21 turnovers, you have to watch tape and break it down,” Pingeton said. “Bottom line you’ve got to play tougher, this is the big leagues, play smarter take care of the ball and make better decisions with it.”

Sharp shooter Morgan Eye struggled to put points on the board, only managing one 3-pointer but coming away with defensive rebounds. Eye also broke former player, Alyssa Hollins’ record for 3-point attempts, making Eye’s record 238 attempts for the season.

Freshman Lianna Doty had another tough night, fouling out late in the second half but was crucial in her 16 minutes of play time, making 3 -3 from the field and 2 -2 from beyond the arc.

Missouri now stands at 4 – 9 in the SEC and 15 – 12 nationally.

Missouri hits the road to face Auburn this Sunday, Feb. 24, tip off 2 p.m. The next home game is Thursday, Feb. 28 against South Carolina.

Supervising Editor on this story was Megan Rentschler. 

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