Editor's note: This story has been corrected to reflect the proper starting time of Monday's game. Tip-off is at 6 p.m. CT.
On Monday, Missouri women’s basketball will face a situation it has yet to come across this season — a rematch against an opponent it has previously beaten.
The Tigers picked up their first conference win back on Jan. 5, a 69-65 home victory against Louisiana State. Now, they must face LSU on the road in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, a location that has not been kind to Missouri teams over the years.
Since MU joined the SEC in 2012, the school’s men’s and women’s basketball and football teams are a combined 0-9 at LSU. The purple and gold Tigers are the only opponent none of the three programs has managed to defeat on the road.
This week will give Missouri two chances to end its Bayou woes — one night after the women take the court at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center, the men’s basketball team will do the same.
For the fourth time in five games, the women’s team will be facing an opponent hampered by a key absence. Senior forward Ayana Mitchell suffered a knee injury against Texas A&M on Feb. 2, ending her season as well as her collegiate career, and Monday will be LSU’s first contest without her.
Mitchell, who was averaging 13.7 points and 8.9 rebounds per game, was on a host of preseason watch lists for national awards. She finished with the sixth-most career rebounds in LSU's program history.
Mitchell led LSU with 38 minutes played in January’s game at Mizzou Arena, scoring 14 points and grabbing 16 of her team’s 38 rebounds. Her presence on the boards may be the aspect of her game LSU misses most.
Missouri did its business early in that January win, taking a 21-point halftime lead and withstanding a comeback in the second half. Four black and gold Tigers scored in double figures that day, something that has not happened in any game since.
LSU has lurked on the fringes of the national Top 25 for much of the season, so that triumph will likely go down as one of Missouri’s most impressive wins of the year.
In the past several weeks, LSU has racked up two wins over No. 16 Texas A&M and one over then-No. 11 Kentucky, albeit all with Mitchell on the court. Khayla Pointer averages 15.1 points per game to lead the team, while Faustine Aifuwa is the new healthy leading rebounder with 8.0 per game.
Thanks to the Monday night tip, Missouri had a chance to see how the rest of the SEC fared in Sunday afternoon action. Wins by Georgia over Florida, Alabama over Auburn and Vanderbilt over Mississippi left MU in Xth place in the standings.
Monday’s game will be the last regular-season matchup for Missouri against a team currently in the top half of the conference. The Tigers continue to chase a top 10 spot in order to earn a bye in the SEC Tournament, as well as a potential Women’s NIT bid that could come with finishing eighth or higher.
Monday’s tipoff is set for 6 p.m. in Baton Rouge on SEC Network. Missouri’s radio broadcast will air on KTGR.