RANDOM THOUGHTS:<br>LSU vs. Auburn Hoops

Here you go Tiger Rag fans, our second installment of Random Thoughts. <br><br> Again, we are sitting courtside at a hoops contest, this time LSU vs. Auburn. LSU looks to play in front of the season's largest crowd and finally ranked after five straight wins. <br><br> What should have been a Tiger romp over the SEC West's worst team, turned into an Auburn rout as the War Eagle shot 65-percent in the second half for the 12-point win.

Pregame

Nice crowd appears to be filing in, doesn't seem as if it could be full, despite a sellout…. What a national anthem, that young lady has some lungs….. Cough-cough, the smoke from the team tunnel blocks out the light in the building, still a nice effect…. It appears Jaime Lloreda is ready to ball, limping a bit though… Regis Koundjia's strained MCL seems to have put him out for the game, he is standing midcourt in street clothes during layups…. Holes are filling in the seats and horn to begin introduction of the lineups, a late-arriving crowd… Jaime honored at halfcourt for 500 career rebounds after pulling down at nine at Florida, big smiles and hugs between Jaime and head coach John Brady… Watch out, flying newspaper from the student section, OUCH!! That was my head!… Hey isn't that coach Jimbo Fisher courtside….. Light's out, big cheers for the starting lineups…. MORE NEWSPAPER!!

 

1st Half

LSU's Xavier Whipple controls the tip…. Oooohhh, ugly shot by Lloreda, brick!… Man, it looked like Antonio Hudson just walked, Brandon Bass knocks down a 10-footer, LSU 2-0…. Nice defense… Killinsworth steps out of bounds, turnover… Jaime turns it over… Auburn on the board with a garbage buckets 2-2, 17:55…. Jaime obviously in some pain, laboring a bit down the floor….17:26, Darnell Lazare in for Lloreda, trainer Drew Shea tending to him… Nathan Watson with a nice soft three, AU 5-2, Watson was the one who hit last minute trey last year to beat LSU on the Plains…. Tigers look out of sync…. Killingsworth layup good, AU 7-2….Huge, clutch three from Darrel Mitchell, on his butt, but good… Nice defense Lazare, Ware Eagle turnover… First media timeout, 15:47, Auburn up 7-5…. Jaime definitely not himself…. Hard foul on Lloreda, makes one of two at the line, 8-6, Auburn…. Physical basket by Lloreda inside, sowing a bit more mobility… Uh-oh, Auburn's Robinson with a nice three-pointer, 12-8, the other Tigers… Blown charging call on Lloreda, fans on the refs badly, "Hey Ref, YOU S---, well, y'know"…..  High-arching three by Antonio Hudson, much needed for his confidence…. Another atrocious call, this time on defensive end on Lazare, Auburn two free-bee's, 16-11… Mitchell buckets a pair at the stripe, three-point game 16-13… That's goal tending!!!! Bucket good by Lloreda off beauty of a lob from Tack Minor…. Killingsworth answers with 8-foot jumper, 18-15… Nice recovery by Lazare on the offensive glass, 18-17 with garbage bucket…. HOLY COW the pass from Mitchell to Minor, a no looker, Minor fouled hard, three shots…. One is in, tie game 18-18, the second is good, LSU's first lead, make it a two-point Tiger advantage with the third, 20-18, media timeout, 11:12…. Tigers go to the full court press, Hudson with the steal…. Lazare with the soft touch, 22-18 "good guys"…. Minor beat to basket for layup by Ian Young, 22-20… Lloreda blocked inside, but gets rebound, will not be denied, fouled hard by Kyle Davis, who disagrees.. Lloreda makes one of two, 23-20, 9:50… Bass in for a limping Lloreda, Shea points to his foot asking if he is all right, Lloreda shakes it off, meanwhile an athletic tip-in by Lazare, 25-21, 8:59… Whipple in for Hudson, strange combination, Whipple, Minor and Mitchell all in the game… Robinson from the top of the key, good, 25-23, 8:10… Lazare another soft shot from the free-throw line, eight points… Hey, Cliff Ellis isn't wearing a cardigan sweater, someone needs to pick up his dry cleaning… Lazare met with a 3-of-1 and manages to block the shot, what got into him tonight, who knows, but definitely taking up the slack for Lloreda…. Media timeout, 7:15, LSU 27-25… That's chancellor Mark Emmert, the LSU student section breaks into a chant for him, he acknowledges with a smile…. Minor with a missed three in transition, but nice steal by Hudson… Lloreda misses a long shot, What? Did he just shoot from three…. Lloreda goes in after lob from Minor, Davis swats it away into the front row… Hudson just shot that one from the parking lot, Dong!… Robinson ties the game with a layup 27-27…. Auburn running with numbers, Brown with a rebound-dunk giving AU a 29-27 lead…. Lloreda with a heck of a physical rebound inside, runs the break dishing off to Minor, Lloreda going all out, no-pain, no-gain…. Timeout, 3:48, Auburn 29-27… Hudson trapped in the corner on the inbound pass, calls timeout, but ref blows call saying he stepped out of bounds….. Killingsworth takes Bass to the hole, Auburn playing good ball tonight, AU 31-27… Obvious traveling violation by Lewis Monroe, another bonehead call by the ref, a foul on Minor… Five minutes since LSU scored a bucket, 2:40… Long three by Robinson, now a 33-27 lead for War Eagle… Lloreda throws down a dish from Whipple, breaks scoreless drought, now 33-29…. This is definitely a lot faster than LSU is used too… Fans on refs on virtually every call, questionable out of bounds call goes against Tigers… Hudson tackled in front of Auburn bench, foul right? Nope, jump ball! Ridiculous!!!…. Under 1:30 left to go, AU 33-29… Hudson drains the runner, ooohhhh, he almost steals the inbounds pass, Ellis calls a quick timeout, bad guys lead by one, 33-31, 1:06…. Brown's three goes in and out, Lloreda gets the board, but mugged in the process, of course, no call at all… Bass two-handed dunk, bings crowd to their feet, Bass and Lloreda obviously miffed with contact and no calls… Five-second violation goes against AU, L-S-U from the crowd, really pumped up… great atmosphere…. It's the half, all tied up 33-33.

 

Halftime:

Stale cookies, watered down soft drinks in the media room… Hey-hey, how bout those Tiger Girls!… Some guy makes 10 layups to win $250 and a trip to the Academy of Country Music Awards, that was after answering a series of questions including when was the last time LSU made it to the NCAA Tournament?…. At the half, though, scored tied 33-33, LSU has shot 41-percent from the floor, compared to 46 by the visiting Tigers… Each team has turned it over seven times each, while Auburn has out-rebounded LSU 18-16…. Lloreda and Lazare each lead LSU with eight points each…. The team has re-taken the floor, Lloreda nowhere to be found, still in the locker room as team shoots around…. Brady steps to the bench, still no Lloreda…. There's the horn for the second half and the SEC's leading rebounder is still in the locker room.

 

2nd Half

Mitchell opens the second half with a bricked three-point attempt…. Killingsworth breaks the ice in the paint with a layup, obviously taking advantage of no Lloreda, 37-35 AU…. Lloreda limps out of the locker room just as Mitchell misses an acrobatic layup with numbers, 18:42…. What's up, it's Barrington Edwards…. Lloreda checks into the game, 17:53…. Whipple garbs the loose ball with numbers, does not shoot, but wait, Hudson does and it's GOOD, LSU 36-35… Monster blocked shot by Bass, Whipple saves it out of bounds to Mitchell who is pushed to the ground on the other end….Here comes the GEAUX-TIGERS chant, this place is rocking…. Bass with a 16-footer over outstretched arms, SWEET, 38-35…. Offensive foul on Quinnel Brown, momentum seems to be shifting, Tigers need another bucket, Lloreda with the soft touch inside, it's a 5-point LSU lead, 40-35…. Air ball by Auburn, but Brown grabs it and tosses it for a garbage bucket, Brady disgusted…. Nice flop Mitchell, charging foul on Brown, his third, Mitchell just won an OSCAR with that one, official timeout, LSU 40-37… Oh yeah, the Kent-Lowe cheer from the students, a humble wave to the masses from LSU's hoops SID… Attendance figures are in, not exactly packed, but decent, paid crowd of 12,543, actual showing of 11,024…. Coming out of timeout, Minor nails a downtown trey, LSU 43-37…. Robinson silences crowd with a jumper from the charity stripe, 43-39…. Bass finger roll good, Goodness Gracious!!! How was that not a foul? Bass nearly landed on his head, 45-39…. Mitchell has one of the quickest first steps in the nation….. Young drains a three-bomb, gets it to one, LSU up 45-44…. Hudson turns the ball over on a dribble mishandling, media timeout 11:50 with Tigers on top 45-44…. Auburn back on top, Robinson grabs a lob at the highest point and drifts it in, 45-46…. Lloreda answers, running the floor for a streaking layup, 47-46…. Young buries another layup, Auburn is not supposed to be this good, War Eagle on top 49-47… It's two more with a Young layup, 51-47… Crowd trying to get back in it, but definitely a lull for Tigers…. Lloreda draws the foul but no call as he misses the layup, it's okay, Auburn turns it over on the other end… LSU needs a basket, Minor misses from long range….. It's 51-47, Auburn, 9:22 left to play…. Killingsworth buries a three-pointer, not good for home team, a 10-2 run by Auburn, 54-47 at the 9:15 mark, timeout LSU, a much needed one….. Charging call on Mitchell under the goal, not a good time for that call…. That had to be goal-tending on Auburn, Lloreda disputes, but ref ignores him, it's AU by nine, 56-47….. Killingsworth misses a dunk, but LSU can't make a shot…. Watson buries another three, not a 12-point deficit, 59-47…. LSU has to find some offense and soon or it is curtains…. At the 7:10 mark, Auburn leads 59-47…. Blown play on the inbounds, Robinson steals and makes an uncontested acrobatic dunk, it's 14 now, Auburn 61-47…. Lloreda is out of it, he cannot move, hardly making an effort for a rebound… Tigers have to score… Lloreda is on the ground writhing in pain, in the meantime, the "PMAC Faithful" (yeah right) is beginning its' convergence on the exits…. At the 6:05 mark, LSU has not scored since 11:17, over five minutes… Students letting abandoning fans have it, not a pretty site… Bass called for goal tending, now 65-47 Auburn with 5:40 to play….how quickly things can go bad… Killingsworth for two more, it's 20 now, 67-47…. Holy cow, it's like cockroaches when the lights come on, the fans are scampering to the exits, trying to get home to see the end of the "OC"… POINTS!!!! Hudson on the finger roll, 67-49…. Killingsworth nails a dagger-three, 70-49… This looks like a lost cause, crowd yelling for Tigers to shoot, another turnover… This is not what the team needed at this point, finally ranked and a loss that looks like it is going to be 20 or more, it is like the air just got sucked out of this place….. Final official timeout, it's Auburn up 19, 70-51…. Wasn't this is the last place team in the SEC West? Auburn was 12-9 and 3-7 in the league coming in…. This just in, Auburn has just concluded a 31-6 run… Finally a fast break opportunity, Mitchell dishes to Minor, who doesn't see it coming, turnover…. Killingsworth killing LSU, literally, another bucket, 72-54…. Mitchell drains a three, it's 72-57, some signs of life, but this looks like too little too late, 1:51 left to play….. Whipple drives the lane, is hacked and makes the bucket, 72-59, 1:17, AND 1, 72-60… Time to foul and no fouls, waste of 15 seconds…. Brady screams to foul, finally Minor hacks someone, but with 49 seconds left, Young to line and makes them both, 74-60…. Tigers cannot convert sending Auburn back to the line…. The final hangers-on in the crowd are headed out…. Brady can only sit and watch as Young deposits both free throws… Minor hit a three from somewhere near Nebraska, 76-63, too bad that didn't happen six minutes ago…. Fans riding Killingsworth, he answers with some little dance behind the officials, they hate him even more…. Minor just banked a three-pointer in from the corner, 78-66.. A quick foul sends Young back to the line… Just heard the dumbest thing from the students just behind us, "Where's Chris Porter?" That was bad, real bad, and makes no sense….. Young makes both free throws after a timeout… Lazare knocks home a layup at the buzzer, but the final is 80-68… Too bad, another two points and fans could have got free chicken fingers for LSU scoring 70 in the Raising Canes challenge…. Oh well, it's a final and this place is like a morgue…. Too bad for Brady and his bunch, it was an ill-timed loss.


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