No. 25 ranked LSU started slow, but found the energy in the second half behind sophomores Javonte Smart and Darius Days to capture a must-win game at home against Missouri, 82-78.

“He gave us a spark,” said Days of Smart postgame. “He just said we’ve got to keep going.”

The Tigers were led in scoring by senior guard Skylar Mays, who posted a game-high 23 points and 5 rebounds. Days recorded 20 points and 10 rebounds and Smart 15 points and 2 assists of his own. All five starters were in double-figures, as Emmitt Williams and Trendon Watford both finished with 11.

“We just needed to find a way to win,” head coach Will Wade said after the game. “Missouri’s always a tough matchup for us. I thought we did a better job guarding in the second half.”

With the win, the Tigers improve to 18-6 overall and 9-2 in conference play. LSU will travel to Coleman Coliseum on Saturday for a 3 p.m. tip vs. Alabama on ESPN2.