By: Terrill J. Weil
Da Boot Sports!
The Tigers went into Nashville on a ten game winning streak Wednesday night to take on the 8-13 (0-8 in SEC) Vanderbilt Commodores. Vandy has lost their last 26 SEC games, last win coming on March 3rd, 2018. Tigers, please be ready for this one.. This is the kind of trap game that LSU needs to be aware of, as they may be looking ahead to their huge match up with Auburn this weekend. The Tigers would feel the sting of the Commodores surprising upset victory, as they would fall to Vandy, 99-90.
LSU would control the opening tip, and score first on a Darius Days layup. Vandy would answer with a three-pointer by Dylan Disu to put the Commodores up 3-2 early. At the 16:04 mark, Trendon Watford would score to tie the game at 7-7, and draw a foul. Watford would can the free throw to put the Tigers up, 8-7. Both teams would go on to play a fast pace ball game, in a close, competitive first half. Trendon Watford would make two free throws to tie the game at 20-20 with 10:34 to go. Vanderbilt would use their three-point shooting to hold a slim lead throughout the first half. Maxwell Evans would catch fire for the Commodores hitting three-pointer after three-pointer. LSU would battle back as they had to raise their play level to keep up with the Vandy arc attack. With 7:25 left in the half, Emmitt Williams would tip in a shot to give the Tigers their first lead since early in the game, 29-28. But Vandy would answer with another three-pointer to quickly regain control. Over the next seven minutes, the Commodores would outscore LSU, 22 to 8, Taking a 13 point lead, 50-37, with 1:51 to go. Skylar Mays, who was still scoreless in the ball game, stepped up his leadership and play over the last two minutes of the half as his first basket would start a Tiger comeback. Mays would score seven of LSU's last ten points of the half, as they would continue to battle a Vanderbilt team who would play inspiring basketball all night long. The first half would end with Vanderbilt up, 52-47. Maxwell Evans who avaerage 16 points a game, would go to the locker room with a team leading 25 points. (8-13 from the floor, 5-7 for the arc, 4-4 from the charity line). It was also the first time the Commodores have scored 50 points in a half all season. Emmitt Williams would lead the Tigers with 15 points at the break, while Trendon Watford would add 14.
The second half would pick up right where we left off in the first. Both teams battling back and forth at a face pace, with Vandy doing just enough to maintain their lead. Maxwell Evans would continue to hurt LSU with his three-point shooting. With 14:11 left, Jovante Smart would hit a rare LSU three-pointer to pull the Tigers within one, 71-70. But the same script would follow, as Vandy would stay a step or two ahead of the Tigers to increase their lead. With 7:56 to go, Jordan Wright would score to put the Commodores up, 80-74. LSU would then go on a 9-0 run to capture their first lead of the second half. 83-80. Finally, it looked like the Tigers had finally taken the lead for good, and lowly Vandy would cave in and give up. Unfortunately, that wouldn't happen. The Commodores would come right back scoring eight straight to regain the lead and control of the game. This 8-0 Vandy run seemed to take the wind out of LSU's sails, as the Vanderbilt players seemed to be re-energized and full of energy, as if they could sense LSU struggling to slow them down and to score to keep up. Vanderbilt would outscore the Tigers, 13 to 7 the rest of the way, upsetting the #18 ranked LSU, and snapping their 26 game SEC losing streak. This may be labelled the biggest upset of the SEC basketball season. Will Wade simply couldn't find a way to stop or slow down Saben Lee (33 points) or Maxwell Evans (31 points).
The upset loss drops LSU to 17-5 overall and 8-1 in the SEC. Trendon Watford lead the Tigers in scoring on the night, with a career high 26 points. Emmitt Williams would put up another double-double, with 24 points and 11 rebounds. Skylar Mays and Javonte Smart would both add 15 points each. The Tigers shot 46.8% from the floor, but continued to struggle from three point range, as they would only go 4-18 from behind the arc. The Tigers also left eight points at the line as they would shoot 28-36 from the charity stripe. LSU needs to simply put this one behind them and move forward.
Next up for the LSU is a trip to Auburn to take on the #11 ranked Tigers on Saturday at 11:00am, ESPN...