LSU takes Rebels- send Mitchell out a winner

Glen Davis saw his double-double streak end at eight, but was still the deciding factor down the stretch for LSU.

Davis scored 15 points and made five throws down the stretch to help No. 21 LSU hold off Mississippi 55-52 on Saturday.

With LSU trying to protect a 41-39 advantage, Davis converted a three-point play with 5:23 remaining in the game. On two occasions, Londrick Nolen hit field goals to reduce Ole Miss' deficit to two points.

Each time, Davis made free throws to extend the Tigers' advantage. Davis made two free throws with 3:38 to go for a 48-44 lead.

Then, Davis made one of two foul shots to put LSU on top 49-46 just inside the two-minute mark. Davis sank another free throw with 21 seconds left to give the Tigers a 52-48 advantage.

"It was hard out there banging with those big fellows," Davis said. "We kept our composure with how tough they were playing defense."

LSU (22-7, 14-2 SEC) made 12 of 15 foul shots over the final 5:30 to seal the victory. Davis made five of seven foul shots, while Tasmin Mitchell made all four of his free throw attempts and Darrel Mitchell hit three of four down the stretch.

"We won the game because we defended, our press helped us and we got to the foul line and made free throws," LSU coach John Brady said. "I think because we defended pretty good the whole game, we got to the foul line."

The Tigers, who had clinched their first outright SEC championship in 21 seasons when Tennessee lost to Kentucky on Wednesday, completed their second straight conference season unbeaten at home. The Tigers have won 17 consecutive SEC games at home.

Davis, who was limited to five field goal attempts, also had nine rebounds. Darrel Mitchell, playing his final home game, had 12 points. Tasmin Mitchell finished with 11.

Ole Miss (14-15, 4-12), which was playing its first game after it was announced that Rod Barnes will not return as coach next season, has lost 12 of its last 13 games. Londrick Nolen had 14 points and Dwayne Curtis added 11 for the Rebels.

"I coached today like I always coach," Barnes said. "I was coaching to win and that is what I am going to do. I will reflect on what has happened after this is all over. I don't have time for that right now. We cannot allow what has happened or what will happen distract from what we are doing."

Trailing by one point, LSU took the lead for good during the middle of the second half by scoring seven consecutive points. A 3-pointer by Garrett Temple with 12:37 remaining in the game gave the Tigers a 35-33 advantage.

Darrel Mitchell then hit a pair of free throws and Magnum Rolle made a layup to push LSU on top 39-33 with 11:13 left. However, the Tigers were unable to put Ole Miss away.

The Rebels had numerous chances to tie the score, but were unable to make a shot. Two foul shots by Darrel Mitchell with 41 seconds remaining gave LSU a five-point lead.

A layup by Todd Abernethy with 15 seconds left again put Ole Miss down by two points at 52-50. Five seconds later, Tasmin Mitchell made a pair of free throws to give the Tigers a four-point advantage.

Nolen made a basket with 2.8 seconds left before Darrel Mitchell added one foul shot.

LSU returns to action in the quarterfinal round of the SEC Tournament on Friday evening against the winner of Vanderbilt and Auburn. Tipoff is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. CT.

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