Da Boot Sports
By: Terrill J. Weil
ATHENS, GA - LSU went into Stegeman Coliseum in Athens on Tuesday night hoping to come away with a victory to snap their 11 game skid, but the Bulldogs made the plays late in the game to defeat the Bayou Bengals, 65-63.
Down by six with 3:43 left in the contest, the Tigers went on a 7-0 run to grab a 63-62 lead on a KJ Williams jumper with 11 seconds left.
Georgia's Justin Hill scored on a quick layup giving the Bulldogs the lead with seven seconds remaining on the clock. Hill was then fouled with one second remaining after stealing LSU's inbound pass at half court. He sank one of both of his free throws to clinch the 65-63 win.
“Disappointed. It’s my fault. I wish I could have done a better job for them down the stretch,” said LSU Coach Matt McMahon. “I thought we really executed; KJ (Williams) made a great play to finish there. You know, hindsight is always 20/20, call a timeout in that situation and use the last timeout, but you’ll see in the clip we just didn’t have great discipline in the gaps on that last drive. KJ made a great play to come over and wall up, but they were able to finish. Proud of our guys’ fight. I thought we really competed at a much higher level than we did on Saturday and gave ourselves a chance. The 19 turnovers, and in the second half, Georgia was 12-for-15 from two-point range. I thought that was really the difference.”
A three pointer by Tyrell Ward gave the Tigers a 12-11 lead at the 11:07 mark in the first half.
LSU then took control of the game, but was held scoreless over the final 4:35 of the half allowing Georgia to cut a seven point lead to two, as the Tigers held on to a 28-26 lead at the break.
The Tigers continued to cling to their lead early in the second half until the Bulldogs tied the game, 35-35 at the 14:27 mark before taking the lead, 39-35, during an 8-0 run.
The game turned into a back and forth contest over the next six minutes with three ties and five lead changes.
With the game even at 46-46, Jabri Abdur-Rahim hit a three pointer to give the Bulldogs the lead with 8:46 left, a lead that Georgia would hang onto until 11 seconds left.
The Tigers refused to quit with Georgia leading by eight, 57-49 with 6:09 left on the clock, going on a 14-5 run culminating with KJ Williams' jumper to give LSU the lead with 11 seconds remaining.
KJ Williams led the Tigers with 18 points and 9 rebounds. Jalen Reed finished with 9 points, Derek Fountain added 8, Adam Miller and Justice Hill each scored 6.
Next up, LSU, now 12-14 overall/1-12 in the SEC, will host South Carolina in the PMAC on Saturday, Feb. 18 at 12:00pm CST.
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