The win improved the
24th-ranked Tigers' record to 15-5 overall and 7-0 in conference
play, allowing them to expand their lead to three games in the SEC Western
division after an 88-79
The Tigers, both teams, played hard
but also played sloppy at times, with LSU handing Auburn the ball 19 times and
Auburn handing it back 15 times on turnovers. The two teams grabbed 30 and 29
rebounds respectively. The statistical disparity was found in the shooting
LSU coach John Brady was quick to
point out he believed his team took
"I told our team at half time that
It wasn't just in the first half
that LSU appeared to be out-hustled by its opponent. After trailing by seven at
But, Auburn whittled away the LSU
lead over the next four minutes and cut the disadvantage to 48-47 on a
three-pointer by Frank Tolbert with 15:37 to play. Little more than one minute
later, the score was tied 50-50. A little more than two minutes later,
LSU was able to respond by constantly passing the ball into the lane to Glen Davis and Tyrus Thomas, who each finished the contest with 17 points. The home Tigers were also helped by sixth-man Darnell Lazare who made an acrobatic running jump shot off the glass over two Auburn defenders with 11:51 to play to give LSU a slim 56-54 lead.
Lazare's leaning jumper started a 13-5 LSU run that lasted until the 7:12 mark, gave the home team a 68-59 lead and put it ahead for the rest of the game.
The two Tiger squads beat and
harassed each other at both ends of the floor during a first half that was
loose, sloppy, poorly officiated and down right ugly at times. LSU trailed
through the first 3:44 as
But, LSU was able to grab the lead for the first time as Thomas answered on the offensive end with a thunderous fast break, alley-oop slam on a Mitchell lob, giving their team a 9-8 lead at the 16:16 mark.
The two teams traded baskets for a while before Auburn Coach Jeff Lebo seized the chance to vent his frustration on referee Jamie Luckie with 11:58 to play in the wake of a made jump shot by Tasmin Mitchell. Lebo claimed Mitchell was out of bounds when he took the shot, Luckie disagreed and Darrel Mitchell was awarded two technical foul free throws.
The two good freebies put
"Their coach wasn't very happy with the officials and neither was I and neither were the players," said Brady when asked about some of the calls made by Luckie and fellow officials Bruce Benedict and Carlos Reyes. "I'm not trying to be critical. I'm just observing what you observed."