By: Terrill J. Weil
Da Boot Sports!
BATON ROUGE, La: Coming off of a disappointing 83-79 loss to the Gators in Gainesville, the Tigers were looking to bounce back against a very good Georgia Bulldogs team on Wednesday night in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center. Bounce back they did. At times it wasn't pretty, but the Tigers made the key plays when needed to escape with an exciting 94-92 victory. With the win, LSU is now 7-2 overall / 2-1 in SEC play.
Below is our 'Da Boot Sports' game breakdown....
The Tigers would control the opening tip and score quickly as Trendon Watford would drive and lay it up and in.. Georgia would push it fast back down the court beating the Tigers to the goal for a slam dunk by Tye Fagan to knot it up at 2-2.
Javonte Smart would answer with a three pointer but the Bulldogs again would race down the floor for another dunk to pull to within 5-4 at the 19:00 mark.
With Georgia up 6-5, the Tigers would go on a 8-0 run over the next two minutes to take a 13-6
advantage at the 16:14 mark.
Over the next five minutes Georgia would turn up the heat outscoring LSU 9-3 to put the score at 19-15 Tigers with 12:54 to go.
At the 11:06 mark, the Bulldogs would tie the score up at 21-21 with a couple of free throws by Christian Brown. Then take a two point lead with 9:35 left to after two more successful free throw attempts by Brown.
Charles Manning would tie things up with a running thunderous dunk up the lane, waking up the Assembly Center crowd.
The aggressive play by both teams would continue over the next four minutes of play with LSU
clinging onto a 33-30 lead at the 3:42 mark.
With 2:44 to go, the Tigers would go up by seven, 38-31 on a three pointer by Trendon Watford. Georgia would then not only close the gap, but take the lead 39-38 as they quickly would go on a 8-0 run after LSU would ice up missing a few easy shot opportunities.
Trailing 42-40 with :15 second left in the first half, Javonte Smart would take the ball coast to coast and draw a shooting foul with :03 ticks left. Smart would can both free throws to pull us even at 42-42 at halftime.
Trendon Watford would lead the Tigers in scoring at the half with 12 points, as Javonte Smart would add 11.
Georgia would come out and start the second half hot as a pistol, scoring five straight in the first minute of play for a 47-42 lead.
The Bulldogs would continue to hold onto the lead until Trendon Watford would score on a layup to give the Tigers a 50-49 lead at the 16:08 mark. Over the next four minutes both teams would battle back and forth with several lead changes.
With the score 58-56 Georgia, the Bulldogs would go on a 10-2 run over the next four minutes to take a 68-58 lead with 9:07 to go.
The Tigers would battle back as Cameron Thomas would score and draw a foul, hitting the charity shot to cut three off of the lead. After a Bulldog miss the Tigers would take advantage as Darius Days would score and draw a foul on the play. Days would hit his free throw to pull to within 68-64. On the inbounds pass, Javonte Smart would make a quick steal and easily lay it up and in cutting the lead to 68-66 with 7:51 left to go.
The pace would stay fast and furious as both teams would continue to race up and down the court, each taking turns grabbing the lead until finding the game all even at 72-72 at the 6:23 mark.
The Bulldogs would then run off five straight points going up 77-72 with 4:47 to go. But the Tigers would battle back cutting the lead to three on two Cam Thomas free throws.
The score would stay at 77-74 until Georgia's Sahvir Wheeler would hit a three pointer putting the Bulldogs up by six, 80-74 with 1:57 left.
On back to back possessions Javonte Smart would rise to the occasion hitting back to back threes to tie the game all up at 80-80 with 1:10 left to play. Both teams would have an opportunity to win it in regulation but no shots would fall as we would head to overtime.
Both teams would miss-fire to begin the overtime period before Wheeler would make two free throws to give Georgia the lead 82-80. Then an official would make a horrible call on Trendon Watford for charging.. Tigers would race back down the court after a defensive rebound and answer with a Cam Thomas three point basket to put LSU up 83-82 with 3:28 left.
Georgia's Toumani Camara would miss two free throws. Watford would then miss two free throws on the other end with 2:23 left.
The Bulldogs would score a basket. 84-83... Thomas would hit two free throws to put the Tigers up 85-84 with 2:04 to go.
Cam Thomas would continue his hot streak at the free throw line hitting two more putting LSU up, 87-84.
Georgia would go to the line on a phantom foul, converting both to cut it back to one, 87-86. Then on the Tigers next trip down the court, Darius Days would hit a wide open three with 49 seconds left, extending the Tigers lead to 90-86.
With :43 seconds left Wheeler would hit one of two free throws for Georgia cutting the lead to 90-87. On the way down the court, Trendon Watford would be fouled. Watford, who was 0-7 on the night from the free throw line would hit both, 92-87 Tigers.
Georgia would not give up, racing down the court and hitting a three, to pull to within 92-90 with :29 seconds left.
Watford would again draw the foul after crossing midcourt putting him back on the line. He would make one of two, 93-90, Tigers. Georgia would race down the court and score on a layup to cut the lead to one, 93-92 with 15 seconds to play.
On the inbounds, Cam Thomas would draw the foul and make one of two of his free throws putting LSU up 94-92 with 9 ticks left.
Georgia would take the ball in after a timeout, and miss a shot in the paint with 2 seconds left.
Cam Thomas would rebound the ball to seal the 94-92 victory for LSU...
The Tigers played an inspiring ball game beating a very good Georgia team. Once again they performed with poise and heart battling for 40 minutes for the win. Cameron Thomas lead the team in scoring with 26 points. Thomas also set a LSU record by making 42 consecutive free throws, breaking the record of 35 set by Chris Jackson during the 1989-90 season. Javonte Smart had a big game scoring 21 points, while Trendon Watford would contribute 17 points. Darius Days finished with another double-double, as he would score 13 points while grabbing 11 rebounds.
For Georgia, Justin Kier lead the way with 25 points, while Sahvir Wheeler scored 21 points.
This was a great SEC basketball game played between two very good teams. Both teams played each other very evenly. Even with a final score of 94-92, you simply don't see final game stats so even like in this contest. LSU shot 31-70 from the floor for 44%. ... 10-30 from three point range, 33%. .... 22-33 from the free throw line, 67%. .... The Tigers committed 16 turnovers and finished the game with 40 rebounds...
Georgia shot 34-71 from the floor for 48%. .... Shot 12-25 from three point land, 34%. ..... 12-18 at the free throw line for 67%. ..... The Bulldogs turned the ball over 22 times and finished the game with 43 rebounds..
Next up, LSU will travel to Columbia, MO. to battle 13th ranked Missouri (7-2) on Saturday, January 9th at 7:30pm. The game will be carried by SEC Network.....
LSU players post game quotes....
LSU Players– Postgame v. Georgia Quotes
January 6, 2021
Forward Darius Days
On the feelings and the energy of the team throughout the entire game …
“I just feel like we came out kind of slow at first and then we picked it up the last 14 minutes of the game. Then we went into overtime and then we got the win. Nothing was going wrong; we are just trying to get better every day. Build better chemistry as a team. That’s what we did in the end and we came out with the win.”
On the threes that Georgia was hitting …
“Right. We play in something called a scoring area and they were far back beyond the scoring area and they just hit tough shots. Tonight was their night and their threes were falling. Hats off to Georgia. But sometimes there are things that you just can’t do or coach. They are shooting the balls at the logo so some things you can’t coach or teach.”
Guard Javonte Smart
On the confidence he had when he hit the threes to tie the game …
“We got a lot of shots up, before practice and after practice. We work out a lot, every day. I just try to put the work in so we can have a good game and knock down the big shots when we need them.”
On the team still trying to figure out their dynamic …
“We need games like this. SEC games are hard. We have to find ways to figure things out and keep fighting. We are going to go back into the lab and keep working. I know our defense wasn’t the best, but I promise we are going to get it better. I’m just happy to win.
Guard Cameron Thomas
On staying confident when a lot of his shots weren’t going in …
“I had to get to the free throw line to get back in the game and for us to have a chance to win. It happens. Everybody has a game like that.”
On his pick and pop to Darius (Days) when he was wide open …
“Yeah, they sent two with me. Which they were doing the whole game, double teaming me off the ball screens, double guard and double screen. I knew Days was going to be open. I just gave it to him, and he made it. it was a good shot for Days.”
Coach Wade after the game.....
LSU vs. Georgia
January 6, 2021
LSU Head Coach Will Wade– Postgame v. Georgia Quotes
On losing the lead three or four times but coming out with the win in the end …
“We were down 10 with nine minutes left. We put ourselves in a tough spot, but we picked up our energy and we picked up our urgency. I thought that helped us out. At the end of the day, every SEC game is hard to win. There is no easy SEC game. You have to dig it out. You have to find a way. That is part of life in this conference. There is no easy way up the mountain. It was a difficult win but at the end of the day we found a way. We made enough plays. We got just enough defensive stops. We made enough winning plays. I thought in Mwani Wilkinson made some tremendous winning plays for us, saves, rebounds, defensive plays. That was huge for us.
On erasing the 10-point lead Georgia had in the second half…
“It was critical because we had to get it back within striking distance so we could play it out in the six-minute game. We could play it out down the stretch. We got two-and-ones. We stole the ball in the diamond press. In our activity defensively, we gave up a lot of threes. They made some threes. Our activity defensively was better. The 19 steals and their 22 turnovers really bailed us out.”