COLUMBIA, Mo. -- Most of the game, Keon Lawrence looked like
a typical freshman. With the game on the line, he was a star.
Missouri's top recruit hit a go-ahead turnaround jumper in the
lane with 47 seconds to go and was a perfect 4-for-4 at the free
throw line in the final 12 seconds of a 72-68 victory over Oklahoma
on Tuesday night.
Stefhon Hannah had 16 points and Leo Lyons 14 for the Tigers
(17-9, 6-7 Big 12), who have won three in a row for the first time
in conference play since February 2005 and four of five overall.
Keon and Matt Lawrence had 11 points apiece.
Coach Mike Anderson said a month ago, Missouri would definitely
have lost. The Tigers won for the first time by five or fewer
points after dropping their first five tight games.
"We made plays," Anderson said. "We kind of locked down our
defensive intensity going down the stretch when the game was pretty
much in jeopardy."
Michael Neal had 18 points for Oklahoma (15-11, 6-7), which has
lost three in a row overall and four straight against Missouri. The
Sooners rallied from an 11-point deficit to take the lead in the
second half, but never were ahead by more than a point.
Oklahoma missed the front end of the bonus and was 1-for-2 on
its other opportunity at the free throw line in the final minute.
"We feel like we had a chance to win at the end," Neal said.
"We didn't make plays, I didn't make my free throws."
Keon Lawrence struggled most of the game, scoring nine points in
the second half after missing all five of his shots in the first
half. He also finished 7-for-8 at the line.
"If you watch his stat line the first half, you'd go 'Where was
Keon?"' Anderson said. "To his credit, he was doing other
In the previous four games since cracking the starting lineup,
Keon Lawrence had been averaging 15 points. Missouri is 4-1 since
elevating him and demoting Jason Horton.
"Keon Lawrence is as hot as any player right now," Capel said.
"I think it shows the incredible confidence that not only Mike
[Anderson] has but his teammates have.
"When that score was tied they went to a freshman and he was
able to deliver and make a big-time play."
Keon Lawrence (8) and Hannah (7) combined to score Missouri's 15
points. On the go-ahead basket, Lawrence said Hannah drew a couple
"Everybody was following him and I had my man one-on-one,"
Lawrence said. "It really makes me think that I can hit any shot
That basket was the 10th lead change of the half, and 16th of
the game. He hit two free throws with 12.6 seconds left for a 70-65
lead, then another pair with 3.3 seconds to go after Austin
Johnson's 3-pointer had cut the deficit to two.
Oklahoma lost despite tying its season best for 3-pointers,
going 11-for-24, to compensate for overall 40.7 percent accuracy.
Neal had four 3-pointers and David Godbold and Johnson had three
Nate Carter added 12 points and seven rebounds, and Godbold had
Oklahoma is 1-6 in conference play on the road, and 0-9 when
trailing at halftime.
Missouri was at a point-a-minute pace for the first 10 minutes,
finally getting the offense in gear on a 12-0 run that turned a
six-point deficit into a 28-22 lead with 3:36 to go in the half.
Hannah and Matt Lawrence hit consecutive 3-pointers in the flurry,
and the Tigers went up by as many as 11, the run finally ending at
19-2, on Lyons' dunk on a fast break with 44 seconds left before
Oklahoma hit a pair of baskets in the final seven seconds of the
Before the late four points, Oklahoma had been limited to a pair
of free throws in nearly seven minutes. The Sooners built on the
late momentum early in the second half, completing a 16-4 run
capped by O'Neal's 3-pointer with about 16 minutes left that put
the Sooners ahead 40-39.