Hot-Shooting LSU Holds Off AU Rally

Hot-shooting LSU kept its hot streak with a victory over Auburn on Wednesday night at the PMAC.

Baton Rouge, La.--LSU remained the only unbeaten team in SEC play with an 84-69 basketball victory over visiting Auburn on Wednesday night at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.

Senior Darrel Mitchell helped thwart Auburn's upset bid as the visitors hung close to LSU for three-quarters of the game. The 5-11 guard had a big night offensively. He scored 27 points as he nailed 8-11 field goals and all 10 of his foul shots.

Glen "Big Baby" Davis also caused the Tigers problems, particularly late in the game when the home team broke open a tight contest. His inside basket with 11:19 remaining put LSU ahead for good at 56-54. He finished the contest with 17 points as did 6-9 freshman forward Tyrus Thomas.

For the visiting Tigers, sophomore guard Frank Tolbert led four scorers in double figures with 15. Freshmen forwards Korvotney Barber and Josh Dollard scored 13 points apiece while freshman guard Quantez Robertson added 11 points.

Barber, who won praise for his performance from Coach Jeff Lebo, hit 6-9 field goals and added a team high eight rebounds as the Tigers held their own on the boards with a taller LSU team. AU finished with 29 rebounds to 30 for LSU.

Barber plays defense against Glen "Big Baby" Davis.

Robertson added six assists as he played 37 minutes. He turned the ball over three times on a night when the turnover-prone Tigers had 15, four less than LSU.

Tolbert got his points by finishing the night 4-7 from the field with a pair of threes and 5-6 shooting at the foul line.

Auburn dropped to 9-9 overall and 1-6 in the Southeastern Conference. LSU is 7-0 in the conference and 15-5 overall.

A big difference in the game was LSU's shooting. The Bayou Bengals sizzled with 63 percent for the night, much to the delight of a crowd of 9,784 who saw the home team hit 71.4 percent of its second half shots.

In contrast, Auburn made just 41.1 percent of its field goals. AU was 6-21 on threes compared to 5-10 for LSU.

On a night when Lebo got his second technical of the season for disputing the work of the Bruce Benedict, Jamie Luckie and Carlos Reyes officiating crew, the home team shot 28 free throws and made 21. Auburn made 17-24.

Auburn led early in the game, but the home team pulled ahead to take a 40-33 edge into the locker room at halftime.

LSU built the lead by hitting 14-25 field goals (56.0 percent) and 4-8 threes while the visitors made just 12-31 field goals and 2-12 treys. LSU's 12 first half turnovers to nine for Auburn helped keep the game close as did AU's surprising rebound lead (17-16).

Mitchell scored 14 first half points for the home team while Barber led the Tigers with nine points

Auburn kept the game close much of the second half and pulled ahead 54-52, but LSU answered with a strong run to regain control of the contest.

"In the second half we really competed hard and had a chance," said Lebo, who added that his team had a tough time stopping LSU's big and physical front line down the stretch led by massive "Big Baby" Davis, the 6-9, 310 sophomore.

It was LSU's fourth straight victory over Auburn. LSU will go for its eighth straight victory this season on Saturday at Alabama.

Auburn returns to action with a 6 p.m. game on Saturday at Mississippi State.

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