Georgia basketball falls once more

BATON R0UGE - LSU started slowly, but finished with a enough of a flurry to win a third straight game for the first time this season and for the second straight time at home with a 71-64 win over Georgia Sunday afternoon at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.

The win upped LSU's record to 12-16 and the Tigers are now 5-9 in the SEC Western Division. LSU is now tied for third with Ole Miss, one game ahead of both Auburn and Alabama. The Tigers play host to Alabama on Wednesday night at 7 p.m. in the final home game of the season. It was LSU's first three-game winning streak in SEC play in almost two seasons.

Georgia drops further into sixth place in the SEC Eastern Division at 12-15 and 3-11.

Marcus Thornton scored 36 points and had 10 rebounds to lead LSU as he becomes the first SEC player to score 30 twice in a season since 1996 by Ronnie Henderson. Anthony Randolph hit for 19 points and Chris Johnson had 15 rebounds and seven blocked shots. Billy Humphrey had a big game for Georgia, scoring 26 points with Terrance Woodbury getting 11 and Jeremy Price 10.

Thornton broke a 59-59 tie with a tip in with 3:31 remaining. After a steal by Randolph, Thornton made two foul shots to extend LSU's advantage to four points at 63-59. Georgia reduced the deficit to a single point at 65-64 when Humphrey sank a pair of free throws with 1:20 remaining. But Randolph gave the Tigers a two-possession lead by converting a three-point play with 59 seconds left.

LSU started extremely tight, a tendency that has plagued them all through the SEC home season. Humphrey hit three three-pointers in the first eight minutes to give Georgia a 19-6 advantage and the lead twice went to 16 points, first at 24-8 on three pointer by Tony Brewer and against at 29-13 at the 8:12 mark on a trey by Woodbury.

From there, LSU outscored Georgia, 16-4 the remainder of the half to go to the dressing room down just 34-31.

In the second half, the score was tied four times and the lead changed hands 10 times as LSU Interim Coach Butch Pierre won his fourth game in seven starts as the LSU head coach.

Georgia was hot early hitting 6-of-9 treys in the first half and 43.8 percent overall in the first 20 minutes, while the Tigers were 11-of-34 for 32.4 and 37.5 percent from the arc. LSU shot 48 percent overall in the second half while Georgia cooled down to just 1-of-8 from the arc. For the game, Georgia shot 42.9 percent (24-of-56) ahead of LSU's 39.3 percent (24-of-61). LSU out rebounded Georgia, 40-36 and had double figure blocks with 11.

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