By: Terrill J. Weil
Da Boot Sports!
BATON ROUGE, La.:: It's SEC/Big 12 Challenge day as our LSU Fighting Tigers will host #10 Texas Tech Red Raiders on Saturday afternoon in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.
LSU (11-4) is coming off of a 78-66 win over Texas A&M on Tuesday night, while the Red Raiders will try to stop a two game skid.
The Tigers would give Texas Tech all they could handle all game long but couldn't hold onto a one point lead with only 30 seconds left on the clock.
Below is our 'Da Boot Sports' Game Break Down....
Both teams would go scoreless for nearly the first two minutes of the contest until Cam Thomas would end up on the free throw line scoring on one of two shots. 1-0 LSU with 18:22 to go.
Tech would then run 6 straight to grab a 6-1 advantage with 15:55 on the clock.
Trendon Watford would then hit a jumper in the lane, followed by a Cam Thomas three pointer to ignite
the crowd and tie the score at 6-6 at the 14:34 mark.
LSU would then shift it into another gear going on a 8-2 run over the next three minutes to take a 14-8 lead with 11:17 on the clock for an officials timeout.
Kevin McCullar would hit a jumper at the 9:41 mark giving the Red Raiders their first points in over four minutes to pull to within 15-10.
Over the next four minutes the teams would play even, scoring 8 points each putting the score at 23-18, LSU. The Tigers would then increase their lead to 33-26 with 2:24 to go on a jumper by Watford.
LSU would all of a sudden go ice cold over the final two minutes of the half as they would allow Texas Tech to go on a 6-0 run to end the first 20 minutes of play with the score, LSU 33, Texas Tech 32..
Cam Thomas would lead the Tigers at the half with 14 points, while Javonte Smart would add 12. LSU would shoot 12-28 from the floor for 43% while shooting 4-11 from the three point arc. The Tigers first half struggles would come from the free throw line, only making 5-9 for 56% and allowing Texas Tech to win the rebound battle, 16-11.
LSU would score first and quickly to start the second half as Javonte Smart would hit a jumper only 19 seconds in. 35-32 Tigers.
The Tigers would need to call a timeout with 14:38 to go as Texas Tech would go on a 13-9 run to grab not only the lead but the game momentum. 45-42 Red Raiders. LSU is simply giving Tech too many second chance points, as they continue to struggle in the rebound battle.
The Tigers would answer the Red Raiders run with a 6-2 run themselves to regain the lead 48-47 with 11:52 left on the clock.
LSU would suffer a huge blow when Darius Days would leave the game with 10:57 to go with an ankle injury...
In what was turning out to be a very good basketball game between two very good teams, we would find the contest all even up at 58-58 at the 7:32 mark.
With the score tied at 60-60, Javonte Smart would hit back to back three pointers giving LSU the lead 66-60 with 4:24 left to go, forcing Tech to take a timeout to try and stop the bleeding while the chant of LSU! LSU! LSU! would begin to roar from the crowd.
The Red Raiders would score four straight to pull to within two, 66-64, but Cam Thomas would answer as he would hit a very deep three pointer to extend the lead to 69-64, followed by a put back basket by Shareef O'neal at the 1:06 mark to put the Tigers up 71-64.
Texas Tech would not fold as they would answer with back to back three pointers by Mac McClung to pull within 71-70 with 31.4 seconds left in the contest.
Tech's Terrence Shannon would score on a layup with :23 ticks left to put the Red Raiders up by one 72-71.
Cam Thomas would a jumper with :17 seconds left. Trendon Watford would grab the rebound, but would be called for a foul putting Tech back on the free throw line.
Terrence Shannon would make both charity shots to put his Red Raiders up by three, 74-71.
LSU would race the ball down the court and set up Cam Thomas for a three point attempt with
:03 seconds left, but Thomas would fire up an air ball from three point range.
Texas Tech would receive two more gift garbage points from the officials to make the final score 76-71.
With this heartbreaking loss, the Tigers fall to 11-5 on the season. Got to call it like it is, LSU lost this game because of a poor game at the free throw line, (12-18 for 67%), and because they were out-rebounded 41-29.
Javonte Smart lead the team in scoring with 29 points. Cam Thomas finished with 25 points. Darius Days would contribute 11 points in the losing effort.
“Obviously a very disappointing loss. I thought that we played extremely hard. We just didn’t have some poise and some discipline that we needed in some key stretches, especially in the last minute or so." said Will Wade. "This is as disappointed as I’ve been all year. I thought we played well enough to win against a very good ball club. We couldn’t close it out. Very, very disappointing.”
Up next for the Tigers is a trip to Tuscaloosa to rematch the red hot Alabama Crimson Tide on Wednesday, Feb. 3rd at 6pm. The game will be televised on ESPN2.
Photos Below By: Terrill Weil
Photos Below By: Jonathan Mailhes