The only good thing that can come out of playing another basketball game just 48 hours after a tough loss on the road is you don’t have to spend a lot of time waiting around for the next opportunity to make up for that setback.
That’s how LSU had to look at a 74-67 overtime loss at Missouri when the Tigers went through their only practice session for Saturday’s Southeastern Conference matchup with Georgia at 8 p.m. in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.
After returning to Baton Rouge just before midnight Thursday, there was no time to worry about the one that got away when LSU (11-3, 0-1 SEC) began its limited preps for the visit from Georgia (9-4, 0-1).
Georgia dropped a 79-75 decision at home to No. 23 Arkansas in its league opener Tuesday night.
“When you talk about prep for last night’s game and getting back late and then (Friday), we are playing a team that has been off since playing Arkansas a few days ago,” LSU coach Johnny Jones said. “It’s a good turnaround, but that’s the schedule we were dealt. We look forward to meeting that challenge and playing it.”
Whether LSU can handle it after a disappointing outcome at Missouri in a game the Tigers led by 11 points in the first half and by eight with 8:12 left remains to be seen against a Georgia team that experienced a similar fate in its league opener.
Georgia, which had five players score in double digits, led for more than 31 minutes against Arkansas before falling late.
LSU couldn’t get the job done when the Tigers had their worst shooting night of the season from the floor and the free-throw line.
The Tigers made just 36.4 percent of their field-goal attempts and 56.5 percent of their free throws after going into the game ranked fourth in field-goal accuracy and third in free-throw percentage.
Forwards Jarell Martin and Jordan Mickey combined to go 7-of-23 from the field and 4-of-13 from the free-throw line. They scored nine points each after going into the game combining for 34.5 points a game.
But poor shooting wasn’t the only culprit as the Tigers, who lead the SEC in turnovers, committed 19 and topped it off by scoring only two points in overtime.
“We’ve got a really tough game (against Georgia), and we’ve got to be more patient and take what the defense gives us and don’t force it,” Jones said of the quick turnaround.
It was the first time LSU failed to handle adversity on the road this season, which surprised guard Keith Hornsby. His team trailed at halftime at West Virginia and UAB and rallied to win both games.
“It surprised me a little bit,” he said. “But (Missouri) made big shots and capitalized on the good opportunities that they had. We didn’t in this game, especially in overtime. So it’s a learning experience and we move on to Georgia.”
Martin said the responsibility of making sure the Tigers respond in a positive manner against Georgia falls to himself and Mickey as the leaders of their team.
“(The turnaround) is going to be very tough, but Jordan and I have to go in and tell the team to put the game behind us and learn from our mistakes,” Martin said. “We have to learn from this loss and go out and play really hard and try to come out with a victory.”
Follow Sheldon Mickles on Twitter @MicklesAdvocate.