Warren hits late FTs to lift Tigers

LSU reached down deep to edge past Houston 59-58 on the road with a second-half comeback

HOUSTON — Senior forward Storm Warren hit two free throws with 1.2 seconds left as LSU edged Houston 59-58 on Tuesday night.

Storm Warren

Andre Stringer scored 13 points to lead the Tigers (4-3), who won for the third time in four games. Ralston Turner and Warren scored 12 points each, and Justin Hamilton had 11 points and 7 rebounds

Alandise Harris scored 21 points, and TaShawn Thomas had 13 points and 8 rebounds to lead the Cougars (3-3), who lost their third straight by two points or less and second in a row by one.

LSU point guard Anthony Hickey missed a jumper with 4 seconds left, but Warren collected the rebound and was fouled by Thomas and made both free throws. J.J. Thompson’s half-court heave at the buzzer missed. 

The Tigers outrebounded Houston 41-34, including 19-10 on the offensive boards. LSU had 9 offensive rebounds combined in its second and third possessions of the second half.

Turner hit a 3-pointer with 2:23 remaining to put LSU up 57-56. Harris had a chance to put Houston ahead with 18 seconds left, but he missed and Thomas grabbed the rebound. Jonathan Simmons didn’t waste a second chance for Houston as he drove the baseline and hit a leaner with 9 seconds left for a 58-57 lead. 

After LSU went ahead 46-44 with 12:49 left, Houston regained the lead on Thomas’ jumper and extended it to 52-48 when Thomas made a free throw with 6:58 left.

But the Tigers answered with a 6-0 run over the next 2 minutes to take a 54-52 advantage on Justin Hamilton’s jumper.

The Tigers used a 9-0 spurt to take the 46-44 lead, their first since they led 2-0.

During the run, LSU forced two turnovers and tied the score at 44 on Turner’s 3-pointer off Thompson’s turnover.

Houston raced to a 15-7 lead on consecutive layups by Thomas and Joe Young’s 3-pointer with 12:31 left in the first half, but LSU cut it to 19-16 on Turner’s layup 4 minutes later

The Cougars extended the lead to eight on a layup by Harris with 6:37 remaining in the half, and the edge grew to 11 on Leon Gibson’s layup with 1:17 remaining. Houston led 38-30 at the break behind Harris’ 14 points and Thomas’ 10.

LSU wraps up its two-game road swing Saturday at Rutgers as part of the BIG EAST/SEC Challenge. Tipoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. and will be televised by ESPNU.

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