Without Tremont Waters on the court due to an illness, Saturday’s game against Tennessee (24-3, 12-2 SEC) seemed like one LSU (22-5, 12-2 SEC) couldn’t win. Add the fact that the team’s second-best scorer Naz Reid couldn’t buy a bucket in regulation, the Tigers still found a way to get a huge 82-80 overtime win over the Tennessee Volunteers.
How It Happened:
The fifth-ranked Volunteers were in control of the ballgame for much of the first half, but the Tigers were able to respond and take the lead out of Tennessee’s hands with a 12-4 run. However, Tennessee took over the ballgame once again and headed into the locker room with a 36-31 lead.
The Volunteers looked like they were about to pull away and cruise to victory early in the second half, building up a nine-point lead. The Tigers kept fighting throughout though, eventually getting out in front 71-69 with 44 seconds left. Grant Williams then tied things up yet again with a layup. LSU managed to have one more chance to avoid their second straight overtime game, but it wasn’t meant to be after a poor shot from Skylar Mays in the final seconds.
The Tigers had control throughout the overtime period, but a three-point play gave the Volunteers a two-point lead with 18 seconds left. Kavell Bigby-Williams tied it up with a quick layup and that was followed up by a huge personal foul call on Grant Williams brought Javonte Smart to the line with 0.6 seconds left, and he made both of those shots to take the lead with little time left for the Vols to tie things up again.
Big Number: 77.4%
The Tigers from the charity stripe were outstanding, shooting 24-of-31 on the afternoon. A lot of that can be attributed to Skylar Mays being extremely efficient, going 10-of-12.
Player of the Game: Javonte Smart
With Waters out and Naz Reid not really being a factor offensively, Smart stepped his game up with 29 points, five boards, five assists, and three steals. This may have been his best afternoon as an LSU Tiger and it came at exactly the right time.
Next Up: Tuesday vs Texas A&M; Tipoff at 8 pm