Simmons’ 22 points leads LSU past Missouri, 80-71

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BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) _ Ben Simmons had 22 points, 14 rebounds and seven assists, and LSU held off struggling Missouri 80-71 on Tuesday night to stay alive for at least a share of the Southeastern Conference regular season title.

Antonio Blakeney scored 18 points, hitting a late 3-pointer and mid-range jumper to help LSU (18-12, 11-6) secure what initially looked to be an easy victory before Missouri (10-20, 3-14), which trailed by 22 at halftime, put together a 19-6 run to get as close as three points with less than five minutes to go.

Tim Quarterman scored 11 points with six assists for LSU, which entered the night one game behind SEC-leading Kentucky and Texas A&M. LSU shot nearly 53 percent from the field and made 11 more free throws (18-7) than Missouri.

Ryan Rosburg, Kevin Puryear and Terrence Phillips each scored 13 points for Missouri, which has lost four straight.