By: Terrill J. Weil
Da Boot Sports!
LEXINGTON, Ky.:: The Tigers limped into Rupp Arena looking to rebound from their shocking loss to Alabama on Tuesday night. Instead they found more of the same, as the nightmare performance seemed to follow LSU from Baton Rouge to Lexington.
The Tigers were never really in the contest as Kentucky took advantage of a LSU team that all of a sudden is sputtering on offense, playing defense with little intensity, and at times looks to be out-coached.
Below is our 'Da Boot Sports' game break down...
Oliver Sarr would put the Wilcats on the board first on a second chance layup 30 seconds into the contest. LSU would score four straight on a layup by Trendon Watford then a jumper by Cam Thomas grabbing a 4-2 lead.
From there Kentucky would begin to heat up and go on a 10-0 run over the next two minutes taking a 12-4 lead at the 16:15 mark.
The Tigers were beginning to have Alabama game flashbacks as Dontaie Allen would hit Kentucky's 5th three pointer of the game to extend their lead to 26-11 with 11:14 left on the clock.
For a team coming off of an embarrassing 30 point loss at home, the Tigers seemed to lack focus and intensity. The Wildcats simply out-hustled LSU for most of the first half, owning the boards and scoring easily in the paint and from the outside.
With 4:51 left in the half, Cameron Thomas would hit a three pointer to pull LSU to within ten, 37-27, However Kentucky would not allow the lead to fall under double digits as they would go on a 7-1 run over the next two minutes running the score to 44-28.
LSU would then cut the lead to 12 after Javonte Smart and Trendon Watford would each hit a shot from behind the three arc, but the Wildcats were just too much for the Tigers in the first 20 minutes as they would lead 49-36 at the half.
After a slow start, Cam Thomas would end up leading the Tigers in scoring at the half with 11 points, while the rest of the lineup would struggle to contribute. LSU's struggles shooting from the floor would continue as they would go into the break shooting a disappointing 38%, and would only convert 3-10 from behind the three point arc, while finishing with a dismal 7-11 from the free throw line.
The Tigers would begin the second half with much more hustle and energetic play as they would out score Kentucky 8-2 in the opening three minutes, cutting into the lead, 51-44.
After seeing their lead dwindle to only five points with 15:28 left in the game, Kentucky's Brandon Boston would drain a three pointer pushing the score to 59-51.
The game would go scoreless over the next five minutes as both teams would turn up their defensive
intensity. Kentucky would finally break the scoring drought with a Brandon Boston's layup. 61-51, Wildcats with 11:22 to go.
LSU would battle back with 6:37 left, as they would cut the lead to seven, 70-63, but could get no closer as Kentucky would seem to find another gear and increase the lead back to double-digits.
The Wildcats would finish dominating LSU with a 82-69 win.
Trendon Watford would lead the Tigers with 26 points and 10 rebounds for a double-double. Cam Thomas would score 18 points, but had a tough night shooting 6-20 from the floor, 1-8 from three point range, and 5-8 from the free throw line. The team continues to struggle shooting the ball as they could only manage 38% from the floor, as they missed several easy attempts, combined with some poor shot selection. The Tigers were also ice cold from behind the three point arc, going 4-23 for only 17%.
After it looked like the Tigers had put it all together things have suddenly gone south in a hurry with back to back blowout losses.
All of a sudden the offense has become broken. Is it coaching??? Trendon Watford and Cam Thomas are carrying this team as they are simply not getting enough offensive production from the rest of the lineup. The defensive effort and rebounding needs to step up if they are to going to turn the season around and get back on track. The Tigers are now 10-4 overall, 5-3 in the SEC.....
LSU will travel to College Station to take on Texas A&M on Tuesday, January 26th at 8pm. The game will be carried by SEC Network....
Photos Below By: LSU/SEC