A new level of insanity, if that’s possible, played out in Morgantown, W.V., Thursday night.
And when the dust settled and the craziness was over LSU (6-2) ended up a 74-73 winner over No. 16 West Virginia (7-1) in a wild affair that saw blood spilled on the floor on two separate occasions, double-digit runs for both teams and a nip-and-tuck battle down the stretch with multiple lead changes.
Josh Gray provided the game-winner when he put in a wide-open lay-up with 7.4 seconds to go to restore a lead the Mountaineers took away via a Daxter Miles Jr. putback off a missed free throw with 25.1 seconds remaining.
The star of the game for LSU, however, was sophomore Tim Quarterman.
Continuing his torrid and much improved play to begin the season, Quarterman scored a career-high 21 points on 8-of-14 shooting, including a 3-of-4 mark from deep, to go with seven rebounds, two steals and two blocks.
He was aided by Jarell Martin, who before he fouled out late chipped in a double-double with 18 points and 14 rebounds. Martin did, however, commit seven turnovers, something that plagued the Tigers’ entire team from the opening tap as LSU turned the ball over 24 times.
Also working against the Tigers in this SEC/Big 12 challenge contest was Jordan Mickey’s bout with foul trouble. The sophomore forward was tagged with his second foul just 118 seconds into the game and didn’t register a point until the 4:58 mark of the second half. He finished the game with just four points and his absence for such a long stretch through LSU’s rotation, particularly in the post, out of whack.
West Virginia led LSU 43-38 at the half, in the midst of what became an 18-1 run for the home team after several minutes of the second half elapsed.
But the Tigers showed grit and, paced by Quarterman, rattled off a 19-6 run of its own to tie the score at 56 with 8:55 to play.
From that point it was anyone’s ballgame, and the Tigers struck last courtesy of Gray’s drive against a Mountaineer defense without its interior shot blockers on the floor.
West Virginia point guard Juwan Staten led the home team with 17 points while Miles Jr. added 13 in a losing cause.
LSU will be on an extended break for exams, not playing again until Saturday, Dec. 13, when the Tigers host Sam Houston State.
Tigers claim huge upset win at WVU
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