The LSU Tigers wrapped up the regular season with a 80-77 overtime victory over the Alabama Crimson Tide on Saturday.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
After Alabama held an early 3-2 lead, LSU responded with a 11-2 run as Brandon Murray scored six of the Tigers’ points during that stretch.
Alabama quickly answered with an 8-0 run that tied the game but LSU answered and pushed its lead back up to six points. The two teams would continue to go back and forth for the majority of the first half.
A three-pointer by Tari Eason and then a second-chance layup by Darius Days gave LSU a 34-31 lead with 1:20 left to go before the break.
Alabama would close out the half on a 7-2 run capped by a steal by Jd Davison which turned into a Noah Gurley fast break dunk as time expired.
At halftime, the Crimson Tide held a 38-36 lead over the Tigers.
For the first eight minutes of the second half, neither team managed to pull away as the biggest lead during that stretch was a mere three points.
After a dunk by Darius Miles with 7:12 left in the second half, Alabama held a five-point lead. LSU answered quickly with a layup by Eason and then a three-pointer by Days.
A few minutes later, a layup by Eason and then a dunk by Brandon Murray gave the Tigers a four-point lead. The Crimson Tide fought back and trimmed the lead down to one point with 2:23.
Davison made one of two free throws to tie the game at 70-70 with 1:18 left in the game. Days then made a jumper to give LSU a 72-70 lead. With 12 seconds left, Eason was called for a personal foul and Keon Ellis made both free throws. Days missed the potential game winner in regulation.
Days gave LSU a quick two-point lead in overtime with a second-chance dunk but Alabama came right back with a three-pointer by Jahvon Quinerly and then a layup by Ellis off a turnover.
LSU retook the lead moments later after Eason drained a pair of free throws, and then made a fast-break slam dunk after he blocked a three-point attempt.
With 38 seconds left in overtime, the Tigers held a 78-77 lead. Alabama then turned over the ball with a shot clock violation.
LSU’s Eric Gaines was fouled and made his two free throws with seven seconds left. Alabama’s Quinerly missed the mark with this three-point attempt and LSU held on for the three-point win.
BIG NUMBER: 16
LSU’s defense forced 21 turnovers in Saturday’s finale but 16 of those from steals, including a team-high five by Xavier Pinson.
PLAYERS OF THE GAME: DARIUS DAYS & TARI EASON
Days led the Tigers with 24 points on 8-of-15 shooting and went 5-for-6 at the free throw line. Eason meanwhile added 20 points and pulled down 9 rebounds in the win.
UP NEXT: LSU (21-10, 9-9 SEC) will now prepare for the SEC Tournament next week in Tampa, Florida.