Da Boot Sports!
By: Terrill J. Weil
LSU continued to hold on to first place in the SEC with a huge, 90-76 victory over the Alabama Crimson Tide in front of 10,871 fans in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center. With the win, the Tigers are now 16-4 overall, 7-0 in the SEC, and riding a nine game winning streak.
The Tigers controlled the opening tip and scored first with Jovante Smart laying the ball up and in for the 2-0 lead. Alabama would answer by showing why they are #6 in the nation making three-pointers in a game, as Jaden Shackelford quickly buried one from behind the arc. The teams played even, tied at five, until Darius Days would can a three-pointer at the 17:24 mark to give LSU a 8-5 lead. Over the next two minutes LSU would go on a 6 to 2 run, the extend their lead to, 14-7. With 8:54 to go in the half, Jovante Smart would hit a jumper to put LSU up 31-25. The score would stay stuck that way for the next 54 second. The Tigers would then turn up the heat and start to take control of the ball game, going on an impressive 12-0 run, taking a 43-25 lead. The Tide would finally score again as Jaylen Forbes made a basket at the 4:25 mark, after going five straight minutes scoreless. LSU would out score Bama, 8 to 6 the rest of the half, taking a 51-33 lead into the locker room. Emmitt Williams lead the team at the break with 17 points. Daruis Days added ten. While Skylar Mays had eight. The Tigers shot the ball well in the first half, going 16-33 for 48.5%, while going 17-18 from the charity stripe (94.4%).
Bama had first possession of the half and took 13 seconds to hit a three-pointer, that would set the early tone of the period. A combination of missed shots, and turnovers would hurt the Tigers, as Bama would begin to chip away at their 18 point halftime lead. At the 14:07 mark, Bama's Javian Davis would score on a layup to pull the Tide to within ten. The Tigers however would should intensity and heart, playing hard to hold onto their lead. With 7:07 to go, the Tigers held a 78-67 lead. Javonte Smart would make a driving layup off of a Bama turnover at the 4:19 mark to put the lead at 84-71. Both teams would trade scorless possession until Emmitt Williams' monster dunk with exactly two minutes left. LSU continued to play inspiring defense for the final two minutes. Trendon Watford who add the last four points for the Tigers on driving baskets at the 1:21 mark, then again with 40 seconds to go. Bama's Shakelford would hit a shot from the arc with 31 seconds left, and then LSU double dribble out the clock for a huge 90-76 victory...
Emmitt Wiiliams would lead the Tigers in scoring as he put up a double-double on the night with 23 points & 11 rebounds. Skylar Mays (18 points) & Trendon Watford (double-double, 17 points & 15 rebounds), both had a huge second half, helping pace the Tigers to the win. LSU shot the ball well in the contest going, 34-67 for 50.7%. They were also solid at the free throw line hitting 19-20 for 95%. LSU out rebounded the Tide, 49 to 31. However the Tigers continue to struggle from the arc, as they could only hit 3-16 from three point land in the game. and turned the ball over 14 times. Jaden Stackelford finished with 21 points to lead the Alabama, while Alex Reese added 17 for the 12-8 (4-2 in the SEC) Crimson Tide.
Next up for LSU, a home date with Ole Miss on Saturday at 11:00am. The Tigers defeated the Rebels earlier this season in Oxford, 80-76.
LSU vs. Alabama Press Conference
January 29, 2020
Head Coach Will Wade Opening statement…
“First off, I thought the students were great, the crowd was great – especially for a 6 o’clock tip. I thought it filled in and the students and crowd gave us a huge, huge lift. We played well. I thought it was one of our better games of the year. I don’t think the lead ever got below nine in the second half. Give Alabama credit in the second half. The first half they played bigger against us and were trying to keep us off the glass. We did a great job on the offensive glass in the first half and they just said, alright we’re going to scrap that and play smaller, play our better offensive lineup, spread them and drive them. We got enough stops and were able to keep a working margin most of the game. I thought our offense was efficient and well run. We had couple little sequences where we took too many threes. One in the first half, one in the second half where we just got trigger happy from three. That hurt us. (Darius) Days got us off to a great start. Trendon Watford did a great job on the glass and finishing around the rim. Emmitt (Williams) was an absolute monster. Javonte (Smart) and Skylar (Mays) did what they do. Marlon (Taylor) came in and got some big offensive rebounds, made some big free throws. I thought Aundre Hyatt played great. The tip dunk off the missed lay-in. The tip-in at the end of the first half was big. He had some big time, big time deflections. He got his hands on a ton of balls and got a lot of deflections. I’m very, very proud of how he played. He’s coming on and playing well for us.”
On Alabama cutting the lead to nine in the second half and how the team responded…
"I thought we did a much better job sticking to what we were doing, moving the ball side to side, getting the ball on the backboard. I think of our 13 turnovers, five of them were charges and one of them was a base line out of bounds (five-second violation) where we can at least set our defense. At least in those we’re not giving up a bunch of live-ball turnovers. We only had the one bad live-ball turnover against the press. They ran through one early in the game on a cross-court pass. I thought overall we played better and played well in the second half and played well to have a working margin.”
On Emmitt Williams being able to get going early on…
“It was huge. He made some huge plays at the beginning of the game. He did a good job of establishing us on the glass and making sure we stayed on the glass and got on the glass. He had some huge baskets for us in the second half. A lot of times in the first half he caught it on the roll or on the defense and things like that. In the second half he had a lot of back to the basket post moves that were huge baskets for us and huge buckets for us. He played really, really well. Our team certainly feeds off his energy. I think the crowd feeds off his energy. He’s got a magnetic personality and people enjoy being around him. He’s got a really good energy to him.”
LSU Forward Trendon Watford On defeating Alabama…
"Before the game, Coach (Will) Wade came up to me and told me to just let the game come to me. That’s what I did. I didn’t try to press anything.”
On feeding off big plays in the game…
“I would say (big plays) definitely loosens it up for all of us. That is why we have the big lineup we have of me at the three and (Darius) Days at the four and Emmitt (Williams) at the five. We use that to our advantage and just try to crash the offensive glass and box out on the defensive end. I think that is definitely an advantage for us.”
LSU Guard Skylar Mays On more intensity in practice…
“That is just how it is. We embrace it. It just makes us play harder. We definitely took some steps today as far as closing games. I think we did a good job of that today.”
On the mindset at halftime…
“We showed growth today. We still didn’t play our best half. I think (Alabama) might have won the second half, but that’s definitely different from what it has been in the past. We took steps forward and that is something to be proud of.”
On not allowing Alabama to come back…
“We stuck to the game plan. Especially, (Emmitt and Trendon) doing a great job on the offensive glass and getting us extra possessions to take time off the clock. We did a great job of not letting the scoreboard dictate how hard we were competing.”
LSU Forward Emmitt Williams On feeding off big plays in the game…
“I just tell the team to shoot the ball and I try to get it off the glass. I love it. I just tell them to shoot it and I get the rebound.”
By: Terrill J. Weil
Da Boot Sports!
Story Courtesy of LSUsports.net
By: Kent Lowe
AUSTIN, Texas – It just couldn't be any other way. The LSU Tigers won for the eighth consecutive game (15-4), rallying again, this time from a couple points down after a big Texas run, to get a 69-67 win over the Texas Longhorns Saturday at the Frank Erwin Events Center in the Big 12/SEC Challenge.
Texas made a big run after LSU had built a 16-point advantage three minutes deep in to the second half. LSU appeared to be on cruise control and could have had a bigger lead at halftime than 42-32, but three straight turnovers allowed Texas to get two buckets right before the half.
The Tigers were up 48-32 with 17:08 to play and had two other 16-point advantages before Texas made its run. The Longhorns began to slowly cut into LSU's lead and eventually took the lead, 58-56 on a Matt Coleman three-pointer with 4:52 to play. That put the Texas run at 26-8 which brought the Longhorns all the way back to the lead.
But LSU in its usual fashion answered the challenge and tied the game up on their next possession at 58-58 as Javonte Smart made two free throws.
The game kept going back and forth as Jericho Sims got a bucket in the paint to put Texas up, 60-58, with 4:16 to go. LSU missed a shot but after getting the rebound, Texas turned the ball back to the Tigers.
Out of the final media timeout, Trendon Watford had a shot blocked but LSU got the offensive rebound and Darius Days put in a jumper to tie the game at 60-60 heading to the final 3:15. Both teams missed shots before Marlon Taylor caused a turnover leading to a Watford layup that gave LSU the lead for good, 62-60, with 1:48 to play.
But the game was far from over. Texas missed a three and on the next possession, after an LSU miss, Skylar Mays grabbed the ball and was fouled. He made two free throws to increase the LSU lead to 64-60 with 49 seconds left.
Texas got a field goal and on the ensuing inbounds, Watford was fouled. The freshman had missed two straight free throws earlier in the half, but he calmly sank both to put LSU back up four, 66-62, with 16 seconds to go.
LSU made three-of-four free throws to close the game out as Texas made a buzzer trey for the final margin.
Watford had a huge night for LSU with 22 points, six rebounds and three assists in 32 minutes. Javonte Smart and Skylar Mays had 10 points each with Mays having five assists. Mays also kept his double figure scoring streak alive now at 11 games.
Andrew Jones had 20 points to lead Texas (12-7) with Coleman getting 17 points and Jericho Sims adding 14.
LSU made 16-of-29 field half shots and 5-of-9 from three-point range in the first half. The Tigers were limited to just 8-of-25 in the second half, but made 11-of-14 free throws. For the game, LSU was 24-of-54 with five treys and 16-of-20 at the line. Texas shot 28-of-58 for the game with nine treys and just 3-of-6 at the line.
LSU out rebounded Texas, 36-23, and 15-9 on the offensive glass.
The Tigers, leaders in the SEC at 6-0, go back to SEC play on Wednesday night at 6 p.m. when LSU hosts Alabama. Tickets will be available during normal business hours at the LSU Athletics Ticket Office and online at LSUtix.net.
By: Kent Lowe/LSUsports.net
By: Terrill J. Weil
Da Boot Sports!
BATON ROUGE: It was a battle between two of the best the SEC has to offer on Tuesday night in Baton Rouge, as LSU won their third straight thriller at home, beating the Florida Gators, 84-82. With the win, the Tigers are now, 14-4 (6-0 in the SEC), While Florida falls to 12-6 (4-2 SEC play). Will Wade's crew has now won seven in a row and sits alone in first place in the SEC standings, with a one game lead over Kentucky.
The first half started out with a fast & furious pace. Florida would draw first blood, as Andrew Nembhard scoring two on a layup. Skylar Mays would push it up the court and score for the Tigers on a one handed runner. With 17:28 to go, Kerry Blackshear Jr. would pop a three pointer to give Florida the lead, 7-6. From there, Florida would out score LSU 15 to 9 over the next six mintues, giving the Gators a 22-15 lead. The score would stay that way for the next four minutes as both teams would trade several possessions after missing easy shots. Emmitt Williams would finally break the scoring drought with a layup pulling the Tigers to within 22-17. The scoring pace would soon pick up again as both teams would begin sinking baskets. Trendon Watford would draw a foul on Omar Payne as he canned a short jumper with 1:38 left to tie the score at 32-32. Watford would make the free throw to put the Tigers up by one. 33-32. The Gators would score a basket with 56 seconds to go, then Watford would make one of two free throws to tie the contest at, 34-34. Florida would attempt the final shot of the half and make it with three seconds remaining to give the Gators a 36-34 lead at the break. Trendon Watford would lead the Tigers in scoring with 10 points, while Javonte Smart had 7, and Emmitt Williams added 6. The Tigers also committed 11 turnovers in the first half, as they played sloppy at times. Both teams shot the ball well in the first half. Florida shot 46.9%, while LSU would shoot 43.3%.
Florida's Noah Locke would hit a quick shot from the arc to extend the Gators lead to 39-34. A minute later Trendon Watford would answer, hitting a soft jumper. The score would remain 39-36, Gators at 17:02 and a LSU timeout. With 14:08 to go, Darius Days would make two charity shots and LSU would get possession after drawing an intentional foul on Omar Payne. Skylar Mays would then hit a jumper giving the Tigers a 46-43 lead. LSU would outscore Florida, 16 to 11 over the next four minutes to build a 61-55 lead at the 9:06 mark. With 5:21 to go, Skylar Mays would make one of his unreal, driving layups to give LSU a 68-62 lead. Mays would then make a three-pointer and Darius Days bank in a basket with 3:24 remaining to give the Tigers a 73-62 advantage. From this point on, LSU would turn up their intensity and begin to dominate the Gators. A Emmitt Williams three-pointer, a Marlon Taylor layup, then another monster dunk by Trendon Watford would put LSU up by ten with 79-69 with 1:20 left. But Florida would n't go down without a fight. The Gators would hit three shots from behind the arc to pull back to within one, 81-80, with 27 seconds remaining. Skylar Mays would make three straight free throws to give LSU a 84-80 lead. Florida's Kerry Blackshear would make a layup with a second left, as it appeared the Tigers had clinched the victory, 84-82. However, after the officials reviewed the play, and found that Skylar Mays lost the ball out of bounds on the in bounds pass with a half a second remaining. Florida would get the ball in play and bank in a shot as the buzzer sounded. It was close enough to review. After reviewing the play, the officials would see the shot didn't beat the clock, and would call the game.
All five Tiger starters scored in double figures, with Marlon Taylor coming off the bench to record a double-double, (10 points, 11 rebounds). Emmitt Williams would lead the way in scoring with 19 points, while Skylar Mays contributed 18. Trendon Watford finished with 14 points, Javonte Smart added 13, and Darius Days ended with 10 on the night.
LSU vs. Florida Basketball
January 21, 2020
LSU Guard Skylar Mays On LSU playing Florida…
“We have to keep it close. That’s how things work out. It has worked for us, so why not stick with it. I have seen crazier things happen in my time here, but that was just a great game. Credit to (Florida), they are a quality team. They are resilient just like us. Luckily we were able to pull this one out.”
On Coach Will Wade’s plan at the end of the game… “We wanted to switch everything. I was guarding the guy that was taking it out, so I couldn’t see what was going on. Obviously, they got an open look and luckily the buzzer went off before. We have to do a better job at the end of the game. We know how to get ourselves back in it, now we have to figure out how to take care of (a lead). Credit to these guys, we’re 6-0. We just have to keep winning.”
On Marlon Taylor’s performance… “Marlon was awesome. He is kind of finding his footing. It has kind of been bumpy for him because he has been out so long, but credit to him because he has continued to work and just have the right mindset. Now things are turning for him, so we are just hoping he can keep that up.”
LSU Guard Javonte Smart On being 6-0 in the SEC…
“It means a lot. We just want to keep winning and keep the winning streak going. If it comes down to a six-minute game, we work on that every day in practice. Coach tells us you can’t foul, stay solid on defense and make free throws so we can come out with the win.”
On giving up threes at the end of the game… “We gave up some big three’s down the stretch. (Florida) had some big shots that brought them back in the game. We just have to follow our scouting report and not let the people that shoot the threes shoot the threes.”
LSU Forward Emmitt Williams On outscoring Florida in the paint...
“It is huge, but I want to give all the credit to my whole team because we did a great job keeping the ball out of the paint. As you can see, me and Darius (Days) are short five men, but I think we are the biggest guys in the world.”
On the rebounding effort… “As you can see, a lot of our teammates stepped up tonight. Marlon Taylor had a huge double-double today. He had seven rebounds in the first half, so that was huge.
Story Courtesy of LSUsorts.net
By: Kent Lowe | Sr. Assoc. Communications Director
OXFORD, Miss. – The LSU Tigers played to its specialty, the six-minute game, rallying from six points down in the final 6:57 of the game to score an 80-76 win over Ole Miss Saturday night at The Pavilion at Ole Miss.
LSU remains the only undefeated team in the Southeastern Conference at 13-4, 5-0 in the SEC, and Ole Miss falls to 9-8 and 0-4 in the league.
The Tigers are now winners of 12-straight games on the road in the SEC, 10 straight Southeastern Conference games overall and six games in a row this season.
Javonte Smart led LSU with 20 points and six rebounds, hitting four treys, while Emmitt Williams had 17 points and seven boards. Skylar Mays had 15 points and four assists. Marlon Taylor in his best game since his return several games ago had 13 points and six rebounds. Taylor did not make the trip to Texas A&M on Tuesday so doctors could evaluate his foot, which has given him problems since summer left leg surgery.
Breein Tyree had 36 points with Blake Hinson adding 13 and Khadim Sy 10.
LSU shot 42.1 percent for the game with eight treys and 24-of-27 at the free throw line. Ole Miss shot 44.6 percent overall with nine treys and 9-of-19 from the free throw line. Ole Miss started the second half 0-of-7 at the free throw line in the first four minutes of play.
Coach Will Wade has talked since he has been here about getting into a six-minute game and being around at that point to be able to finish the game. LSU has been a finishing team. After winning by 14 at Tennessee, the Tigers have won by two against Arkansas, one against Mississippi State, four in overtime at A&M and four at Ole Miss.
A big Ole Miss run put the Rebels up 67-61 inside seven minutes but two free throws by Williams and a three-pointer by Smart quickly got LSU back to within one.
The Tigers would eventually tie the game and take the lead on free throws by Taylor at 70-69 with 4:30 to play. A Tyree jumper put Ole Miss back briefly at 71-70 but when Williams scored on a layup, the Tigers had the lead for good.
But teams had a couple of empty possessions before Mays got a layup to make it 74-71, LSU, with 2:23 to play. Ole Miss then missed two three-pointers before Mays drove and scored again to put the game to 76-71 with 52 seconds to play.
LSU would make 4-of-4 at the free throw line in the waning seconds to clinch the win, the second team in the Tigers 12-game road streak to have been defeated twice in their building by LSU.
The Tigers again had the big advantage on the road at 47-31 and 12-8 on the offensive board. The Tigers had a 21-9 advantage in second chance points.
Trendon Watford led LSU with 10 rebounds. Five players combined for the good night at the line.
LSU now faces a big home game on Tuesday night at 6 p.m. against the Florida Gators. The teams split games last year with each team winning on the opponent's home floor. The game will be televised on the SEC Network and broadcast on the LSU Sports Radio Network. Tickets will be available at LSUtix.net.
Story Courtesy of LSUsports.net
By: Kent Lowe
COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The LSU Tigers rallied from six points down in the final 1:51 of regulation to force overtime and win an 89-85 decision over Texas A&M Tuesday night at Reed Arena.
The Tigers are now 12-4 overall and 4-0 in Southeastern Conference play while Texas A&M falls to 8-7 and 2-2 in the league.
LSU has now won 11 straight road games in league play, the third longest streak in school history, and nine consecutive SEC regular season games dating back to the last five of last year. The Tigers have also over the last 11 SEC road games won five in overtime.
Down 79-73, the Tigers got three back on a Marshall Graves corner trey. Graves was in the game after foul trouble limited LSU and with Charles Manning Jr., injured and unable to play in the second half. Manning, who fell and injured his right leg in the later minutes of the first half, will have further examinations when the team returns to Baton Rouge.
Marlon Taylor was already out of the game and not on the trip being evaluated back in Baton Rouge for continued trouble in his left foot, which he had surgery on prior to the season
A&M turned the ball over on its next possession and LSU came down with a chance to tie. Skylar Mays missed three-pointer, but got his own offensive rebound. Mays found Javonte Smart who tied the game at 79-79 on a three-pointer with 1:09 to play.
The Aggies missed a shot on their next possessions and then both teams had turnovers before the end of regulation.
The Tigers won the jump ball to over the extra five minutes and Javonte Smart gave LSU the lead for good on a three-pointer 15 seconds into the overtime, 82-79. The teams traded free throws and buckets to make the LSU lead, 86-83, with 1:25 to go.
A&M missed three shots over a couple of different possessions and was forced to foul Mays with 14 seconds to play. He made two free throws to make it 88-83. The Aggies scored a bucket to make it 88-85 and Mays made one more free throw to end the game.
All five starters were in double figures for LSU with Trendon Watford getting 19 points and 11 rebounds to go with Mays' 19 points. Smart had 18, Days 16 and Emmitt Williams 10.
Texas A&M was paced by the 20 of Josh Nebo with Andre Gordon adding 17, Savion Flagg 16 and Wendell Mitchell 11.
Both teams, as in the Tennessee road win to start league play, were really good from three-point range. The Tigers and Aggies both made 14 three-pointers with LSU 14-of-38 and A&M 14-of-35. For the game, the Tigers were 29-of-60 (48.3%), while A&M shot 28-of-72 (38.9%). LSU was 17-of-20 at the free throw line and Texas A&M made 15-of-23 free throws.
LSU had a 48-32 advantage in rebounding for the game.
LSU will play again on the road on Saturday night at 7 p.m. in Oxford against Ole Miss. The Tigers will return home next Tuesday to host Florida at 6 p.m. at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.
By: Kent Lowe
By: Terrill J. Weil
Da Boot Sports!
LSU pulled out another exciting SEC victory, as Skylar Mays would hit a long jumper at the buzzer to beat Mississippi State, 60-59. It was Mays' first basket of the second half, as he was 0-5 from the floor before he made the winning shot.
LSU survived a very poor shooting night as they finished the game, 22-59, for 37.3%, and only a dismal 2 of 21 from three point range, 9.5% from behind the arc. The Tigers were down by nine points with 4:56 to go in the contest, but played with intensity and heart as they scratched their way back into it.
Charles Manning Jr. would hit LSU's first three pointer of the second half, (only the 2nd of the game), with 1:00 left on the game clock to give LSU the lead back at 57-55. State's Nick Weatherspoon would be fouled by Darius Days. Weatherspoon would make both free throws to tie the score with 50 seconds left. Back at the other end of the court,
Emmitt Williams would draw a foul, putting him at the line. Williams would hit one of two, putting LSU back up 58-57 with 44 seconds to go. The Bulldogs with possession, would call time out with 24 seconds. Emmitt Williams would foul Witherspoon with 8.4 seconds left. Witherspoon would miss both free throws, but while fighting for the rebound, the ball would go out of bounds off of Emmitt Williams' fingers, giving the ball back to State with another opportunity at a game winning shot.
Reggie Perry would take the inbounds pass, drive to the basket and would lay it in, to give the Bulldogs the lead back 59-58 with 4.6 seconds to play. After a quick time out, Charles Manning would get the ball to Skylar Mays, would raced down the court, spin around on the dribble at the tree point line, square up his shoulders and fire up a shot with one tick left on the clock. The ball hit the bottom of the sack as the horn sounded, ending the game the game victory for LSU, 60-59.
Both teams started slowly as the first score of the game didn't come until Miss. State's Reggie Perry hit a three-pointer a minute into the contest. Both teams would have a poor shooting first half, as LSU wouldn't get on the board until the Emmitt Williams would make two free throws at the 17:42 mark, 3-2, Bulldogs. Trendon Watford would make a jumper at the 15:34 mark to tie the game at 6-6. LSU would then go on a 13 to 4 run to take a nine point lead with 8:24 left in the half. Mississippi State would cut the lead to 25-22 late, but the Tigers would score the last five points of the period to hold a 30-22 lead at half time.
Emmitt Williams lead the Tigers in scoring with 17 points. Charles Manning Jr. would come off the bench to add 15, and Skylar Mays finished with 11 points on the night.
LSU vs. Mississippi State Basketball Press Conference | January 11th, 2020
LSU Head Coach Will Wade Opening Statement…
"We were obviously very fortunate at the end. Skylar (Mays) made a tremendous play. If we had not won, we would be very disappointed about our rebounding and our free throws. Those are two areas we control. We gave (Mississippi State) too many opportunities late in the game. We did a poor job from the free-throw line all night. I told our guys after the game you can't accept in winning what you would not accept in losing. We have to get better. Give Mississippi State credit, they played tremendous. They did exactly what they needed to do, exactly what I thought they would do. They slowed the game down and tried to be extremely physical with us and pack the paint and make some good shots. We got a little frustrated with that. We have to do a better job. Luckily, we didn't turn the ball over much tonight. Javonte (Smart) played a great game with six assists and one turnover. (Trendon) Watford didn't score it well, but played a great floor game. I thought Charles Manning was huge for us, obviously the three's he hit, but also the pull-up shots he hit. I thought he did a nice job for us. Emmitt Williams did a great job as well being able to draw fouls and playing in space. Overall, we have to be quite a bit better if we are going to contend and be a good team in this league."
On improving down the stretch in the game…
"We have a good way about us. We were down five, then seven. We have a good way about us. I am glad we have not lost that trait. If you run over us, you better kick it in reverse and make sure we are dead. If we have any life in us, we find a way. We had some breaks go against us. A lot of times when you make a comeback like that, you need everything to go well. We had some things that went against us there late in the game and we were still able to pull it out. I thought the crowd was great. I thought our crowd gave us a huge lift. That was big because Wednesday night was a really emotional game with Arkansas and I thought our guys' emotional tanks were low. I did think we came out with a workman-like effort. Mississippi State was a desperate team, we were going to get their best shot. Our guys made some big plays down the stretch. I am more focused on making sure we are not in those situations."
On the final play…
"It was a play I draw up on my play card. My play card has all these diagrams and I draw them up every game for all sorts of different situations. Even though we haven't worked on it, it was a play I have written down 100 times. There's basically not a whole lot to it. We curl and get the ball to the best player and everybody gets out of the way and he has to go make a play in space. It was very good timing by Skylar to understand the time and score and how much time he had. Like I said, because we didn't handle our business at the free-throw line, because we didn't handle our business with the rebounding, we put ourselves in a situation where we needed a miracle. I am more focused on making sure we are not in those situations."
LSU Guard Skylar Mays On the buzzer beater…
"I tried to get in striking distance and get something off. I was lucky to get it in but credit to my teammates, especially Emmitt (Williams) for carrying us in the second half. Someone told me he had half of our points in the second half, Javonte (Smart) for making the right play and getting guys involved with six assists to one turnover. It was a great team win with all these guys doing their part and it came down to a lucky play."
On how the shot felt coming out his hands…
"It felt good. Sometimes, people make game winners and they don't feel good. It felt good off my hands and I'm glad it was able to go in."
On the final play never being practiced…
"That's what Coach (Will Wade) does. We've been able to win close ones like that ever since he's gotten here, so he's great in the late-game situations. He puts us in the best situations, and it worked out for us tonight."
LSU Forward Emmitt Williams On how LSU is starting to win close games…
"One thing is that we're more together now. We were together at first, but we're more together now. We talk to each other about how we can do better on defense and we let the offense come to us." On LSU's defense … "One thing our coach says is to take it one play at a time. If we get a turnover, we can't go crazy, we just focus on getting stops. Let's get a turkey, let's get three stops defensively."
LSU Guard Charles Manning Jr. On if he thought Skylar Mays shot was going in…
"I thought it was going to go in as soon as it left his hands. That's the kind of player Skylar (Mays) is. He's swaggy."
On figuring his role out…
"Being that energy guy. Me and Marlon (Taylor) being that energy guy off the bench. For myself, it's the work I put in when no one is watching. That corner three is the shot I work on every day after practice. Being able to be confident and hit those shots helps the team a lot."
By: Terrill J. Weil
Da Boot Sports!
By: Terrill J. Weil
Da Boot Sports!
BATON ROUGE: What an incredible finish to a great SEC basketball game, as LSU downs Arkansas, 79-77 on Wednesday night in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center. The Tigers looked to carry over their improved play from Saturday's road victory over Tennessee, and that they did. LSU and the Razorbacks would clash in a exciting battle that would have several lead changes, big shots made, and big defensive plays at the end by the Tigers to decide the win.
The Razorbacks controlled the opening tip, and wasted no time as Mason Jones hit from behind the arc for a 3-0 lead. Two minutes later Emmitt Williams scored on a layup to put the Tigers on the board. 3-2. From that point, both teams played well and up tempo, going back and forth at each other, finding us all tied up, 21-21 at the 8:41 mark. With 7:18 left in the half, and LSU up 24-23, Arkansas went on a 14-0 run as the Tigers went cold missing several easy shots and a few free throws. The Tigers would finish 8 of 12 from the charity stripe in the half. LSU would regain their hot hand and begin to chip away at the Hogs lead, led by a pair of three point baskets by Darius Days. With 22 seconds left, Darius Days was fouled. Arkansas' Reggie Chaney out of frustration, threw the ball into the stands drawing a technical foul. Skylar Mays would make both tech foul shots. Then Darius Days would go one for one on his free throws, ending the half with Arkansas up 40-37. Skylar Mays lead the Tigers at the half with 12 points, Darius Days added 9. LSU only committed four turnovers and out-rebounded the Hogs, 25-13.
The Tigers came out and played well, as they have all season long to begin the second period. At the 17:15 mark, Emmitt Williams would draw a foul and make his first free throw to tie the game at 44-44. Williams would miss the second, but Darius Days would grab the offensive rebound. Skylar Mays would then can a three to give the Tigers the lead, 47-44. LSU would continue to hold onto the lead over the next six minutes, leading by as much as five. However, with 11:19 left, Isaiah Joe would steal a Emmitt Williams pass, take it the length of the floor, score and draw the foul to tie things up at 58-58. Joe would miss his free throw. Tied at 60, Trendon Watford would score four straight, two charity shots then a layup to put the Tigers back up 64-60, with 8:05 to go. Both teams continued to physically go back and forth. Arkansas would fight back to regain the lead, 72-71 with 4:34 to go. For the next 2:20, both teams would miss scoring opportunities, missing easy shots or turning the ball over, until Skylar Mays would make a layup to give LSU the lead back, 73-72. With 38 seconds left, Jimmy Whitt Jr. would score on a short jumper to help Arkansas retake the lead. 74-73. LSU would respond after a quick time out, as Trendon Watford would take it to the basket, score and draw the foul on Mason Jones, fouling him out of the game with 32.3 seconds left. Tigers, 76-74! The Hogs would answer right back as Isaiah Joe would drive to the goal, score, and draw a phantom foul on Skylar Mays. Joe would make the free throw giving Arkansas the lead back, 77-76, with 21 seconds left. It would be Watford again, making a short jumper and drawing a foul, with eight seconds to go. 79-77 LSU! After a LSU time out, Arkansas would bring it quickly down the court, and actually get two shots off before the final buzzer, but, both were blocked by Charles Manning Jr. to clinch the victory for LSU.
Trendon Watford lead the Tigers in scoring with 21 points, (15 in the second half). Darius Days played a great game with a double-double, (16 points, 16 rebounds). Skylar Mays finished with 19 points and Javonte Smart added 10 on the night. The Tigers showed grit and heart tonight as they battled a very good Arkansas team down to the wire, and made the big plays to pull the game out. LSU now sits at 10-4 overall, 2-0 in the SEC, While Arkansas falls to 12-2 overall, 1-1 in SEC play. Up next, the Tigers will host Mississippi State, Saturday, January 11th, 7pm. Grab your tickets and come out and fill the PMAC!
LSU Head Coach Will Wade Opening Statement…
“Obviously a critical win. I thought our crowd was great, especially down the stretch. I appreciate everyone that came. I look forward to have the students back on Saturday. I thought the crowd helped us big time. They’re a very, very good team. It was a huge win for us – a quad one win. They’re going to be a team that is going to be in the SEC race. They have great guard play. They do a great job manipulating matchups. I thought the difference in the game was, obviously, our rebounding. We had 23 offensive rebounds. They had 24 total rebounds. We killed them on the glass which allowed us to get more shots up than they did. I thought they did a good job winning the free-throw line. I wish we would have shot it better from the free-throw line. Obviously Trendon (Watford) made some tremendous play down the stretch and finished them off at free throw line and Charles Manning with two huge defensive plays at the end of the game. I’m very, very proud of our team. It was a very, very good win. We’ve got to flip it around and get ready to play (Mississippi) State on Saturday.” On the final two offensive possessions that both ended in Trendon Watford And-Ones… “I think it was huge. One thing that I look at is (Darius) Days was a little hurt down the stretch so we had to be a little carfeul with that and he had been playing well. For Trendon to miss the dunk and miss the bunny a couple minutes before that and both of them would have given us the lead – for him to do that and come back and make those winning plays and then have the poise to knock down the free-throws after the big plays is tremendous. I’m very, very proud of him. The first play was a backdoor play where if we didn’t have the backdoor that meant they were overplaying him and they were playing on top. So Trendon was just to follow it with the drive which is what he did. The second one was one of our deep side out of bounds plays and the first option was Days. He wasn’t open on the curl so we got it into Trendon and it just becomes a little bit of a single side iso.”
LSU Guard Skylar Mays On Watford’s effort at the end of the game…
“(Trendon) is special, man. He’s been playing great as we have been going along. He has really turned the corner. I am just so proud of (Trendon and Darius Days). Trendon made awesome plays today.” On matching Arkansas’ physicality… “We just know they are a quality team. They play as hard as we have seen. We just kind of tried to match their energy. Definitely a key was getting on the offensive glass. We did a great job of that, (Trendon and Darius) especially.” On holding Arkansas to zero second-chance points… “The coaches were definitely happy about that. That is the first thing they said in our postgame talk. That is just a credit to us as a team and the defensive rebounding. We did a great job tonight.”
LSU Forward Darius Days On the career high rebounds…
“Coach Wade preached in practice to stay on the glass, stay on the glass, stay on the glass. I was just very aggressive to the glass and my teammates were aggressive as well. It is very simple, we just stayed on the glass and did what we were supposed to do.”
LSU Forward Trendon Watford On the last possession…
“Coach Wade drew up a few plays for me coming out of bounds. He just trusted in me to do what I do every day. I have to thank him and thank my teammates for putting me in that position.” On improving free-throw shooting… “Me and Coach Wade get together after every practice and shoot 50 free throws. I went seven out of eight, so a lot of pressure has built up on me. It is just practice everyday. I definitely have to thank (Coach Wade) for working with me. I wasn’t shooting good earlier in the year, so he’s definitely working with me and it is paying out.”
By: Terrill J. Weil
Da Boot Sports!
By: Terrill J. Weil
Da Boot Sports!
KNOXVILLE: The Tigers started SEC play today on the road in Knoxville, playing with toughness and confidence, coming away with a 78-64 victory over the Volunteers. With the win, LSU improves to 9-4 overall & 1-0 in the SEC, as they begin the defense of their SEC Championship.
LSU battle and played with poise in the first 20 minutes, as Tennessee lead for most of the first half thanks to their three-point shooting, as they would make nine from the arc. LSU would battle back, scoring the last seven points of the first half including a Javonte Smart three with 14 seconds left, to put LSU up 38-37 at halftime.
The Volunteers scored the first basket of the second half, but LSU quickly regained the lead and control, staying in front the rest of the ball game. The Tigers would lead by as much as 16, as they shot 57% from the floor, scoring 32 points in the paint. The Tigers continue to show improvement in the turnover department, as they only committed eight for the ball game and forced the Vols into 14, scoring 19 points off of those turnovers.
Freshman guard Santiago Vescovi, playing in his first game for the Volunteers, finished with 18 points and six rebounds. Yves Pons also added 18 points, three rebounds, and three blocked shots. Freshman guard Josiah-Jordan James finished with 15 points. The Volunteers finished 13 of 26 from the three-point arc. Tennessee now sits at 8-5, 0-1 in the SEC.
"When you win a couple, you get that confidence," said LSU's Skylar Mays, who scored 17 points. "We feel like we're really good on the road. That's kind of how it goes. When you play with confidence, things tend to go right for you.''
Jevonte Smart lead the Tigers in scoring with 21 points, including five three-pointers, and Trendon Watford added 15 points.
"I thought it was obviously a good win for us." Will Wade stated after the game. "We withstood Tennessee in the first half. I thought we took their best punch for them to shoot it so well from the three. I'm not going to try to pronounce 25's name, but he's going to be a very, very good player. Obviously, he's a tremendous shooter. As he adjusts to the speed and pace of the game, he will continue to get better. I thought our guards did a great job. I thought Javonte (Smart) played really well. Javonte must like playing Tennessee because his two best games were against Tennessee last year and obviously here today. We made some big plays and were able to withstand the run, and things kind of evened out a little bit in the second half and we were able to pull away. (It was) a good road win for us and a good way to get conference season started."
Next up for LSU is a home matchup with the Arkansas Razorbacks on Wednesday night in the PMAC, at 8pm.. Please get your tickets and come out to cheer on our Tigers!
By: Terrill J. Weil
Da Boot Sports!