Da Boot Sports
By: Terrill J. Weil
BATON ROUGE, LA - The Tigers returned to action on Wednesday night hoping to snap their 14 game losing streak against a red hot Vanderbilt team in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center/Dale Brown Court and that they did, shocking the Commodores with an 84-77 victory in front of 8,827 excited Tiger fans.
Lead by KJ Williams who finished with 35 points, the Tigers were able to put together a solid performance on both ends of the court as they controlled the final 11 minutes of the contest.
Vandy made a push late but the Tigers made plays when needed and sank their free throws to seal the win.
“Great win for our team tonight. Really proud of our players. I loved the process we went through these last 48 hours; I thought the preparation was really good." Matt McMahon said. "I thought our guys played with great energy. I thought we had a really good shoot around that carried over into tonight. Really felt like we had a team out there tonight and it was a lot of fun to watch. The guys were really locked in to do the things we needed to do to have success. Obviously, KJ (Williams), his performance was off the charts, 35 and 10. I thought Adam Miller getting to the free-throw line 10 times was huge. 18 points there. Then I just think there were some other stats that have really been missing for us of late. You know, Trae Hannibal didn’t take a shot tonight, but he had the highest plus/minus in the game of any player. Juice Hill, four-to-one assist to turnover ratio, had the second-highest plus/minus in the game tonight. We have been challenging our players, this is where you find out what you are made of. It’s been a difficult stretch. Happy for our guys to come in here and play well and find a way to win tonight.”
Vandy started the contest hot from behind the arc, hitting their first three shots from three point range to grab a 9-2 lead at the 16:31 mark, before LSU responded with a 9-2 run of their own to tie the game at 11-11.
The Tigers then found another gear as they took their first lead, 19-18 with 9:47 left in the first half on a Jalen Reed layup.
The Bayou Bengals extended their lead going on a 12-0 run to go up, 28-18 with 6:48 left on the clock.
The teams would go to the locker rooms at the break with LSU holding a 39-32 lead as the Tigers
put together probably their best half of play since the Kentucky game.
KJ Williams led the Tigers at the break with 12 first half points, while Tyrell Ward scored 8 and Adam Miller added 7 points.
The key stats of the first half was LSU shooting 6-13 from three point land for 46% and the
Tigers outrebounding the Commodores, 27-19.
Vanderbilt scored the first six points of the second half to cut LSU's lead to one, 39-38 as the game remained tight over the next eight minutes.
With the score even at 50-50 at the 11:57 mark, the Tigers went on a 20-10 run over the next six minutes to take control of the game as they held a 70-60 lead.
With the win, LSU is now 13-15 overall and 2-13 in SEC play.
Next up the Tigers will travel to Oxford to play Ole Miss on Saturday, Feb. 25 at 7:30pm CT. The contest will be televised on the SEC Network.
Photo Below By: Michael Bacigalupi
Photo Below By: Jonathan Mailhes
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