Luckily for LSU, though, Martin eventually found his groove.
The junior guard from
"I just kept telling myself to keep shooting and sooner or later it'll start going in," Martin said afterwards.
Coupled with 30 missed shots in the first half at Alabama last Tuesday, LSU missed 22 in the opening 30 minutes versus Auburn and have combined to miss 52 first half shots in the last two games.
But things began looking up in the second. After shooting 31.3-percent in the first, the Tigers (12-4, 1-1 SEC) hit 13 of 24 shots (54.2-percent) in the second outscoring Auburn 37-31 down the stretch to ease away with the two-point victory.
"We are going to need a couple of those along the way," LSU coach John Brady said as he left the floor on Saturday."
Tasmin Mitchell and Glen Davis were
the Tigers' only other players in double figures. Mitchell scored a dozen points
on 3 of 4 shooting and
"After watching tape on
After trailing by four at the half, LSU built a five point lead a five-point, 63-58 lead with a minute left to play.
But just as they had all game long, the visiting Tigers weren't going away quietly. Left wide open in the corner, Barrett drilled a three-pointer with 24 ticks left on the clock trimming LSU's lead to a mere point. Auburn coach Jeff Lebo called a quick timeout to regroup at LSU clung to a 64-63 lead.
Dollard picked up his fifth foul of the game sending Martin to the line for a one and one opportunity. Martin made the first attempt for his 23rd point of the game. His second offering rimmed out.
"I was pleased by Terry Martin's play but he is going to meet me back here at 7 o'clock to shoot free throws," Brady joked.
"I thought we missed several opportunities to expand the lead," Brady said. "We still don't make plays well against teams that change their defense every couple of trips down the floor."
Things got off to a shaky start as
four LSU turnovers led to a 7-0
But the Tigers clawed their way back closing the score to one point down 12-11 after Terry Martin buried a three-pointer at the 14:50 mark of the first half. LSU finally took its first lead of the game at 17-16 with a pair of Tasmin Mitchell free throws at the 12:22 point. Mitchell shot the free throws for Davis, who left the game with a bloody elbow.
But as quickly as LSU went out front, the Tigers dug themselves into a five-point hole trailing 22-17 with 10:40 left in the first half when Quantez Robinson scored on a run-out layup after a Terry Martin miss.
LSU had fallen behind by six, 23-17, when Magnum Rolle had an acrobatic leap through the air for a lay-in and a 23-19 deficit at the 8:05 mark.
Auburn's Dollard buried a three-pointer with 4:37 left to play in the first matching the visiting Tigers' largest lead of the first half as Auburn took a 26-19 advantage.
Quantez Robinson gave visiting
Prowell mad it an 11-point Auburn
lead, 30-19, when he sank a pair of free throws with 3:30 left to play. Prowell
missed a driving dunk, but Darnell Lazare was tagged with a blocking foul and
Prowell made the Tigers pay at the line, giving
Tack Minor got it under double digits with a long range three at the 3:10 mark closing the gap to eight points as LSU trailed 30-22.
Terry Martin followed suit when he
nailed a pull-up trey with 1:13 remaining in the first half of play and
continued to chip away at the
Garrett Temple hit LSU's third consecutive three-pointer of three straight possessions with 20 ticks of the clock left in the opening stanza trimming Auburn's lead to a mere two points.
But Prowell answered LSU's bucket with a finger roll with two second remaining sending the visiting Tigers into the locker room with a four point, 32-28 lead.
Despite trailing by just four points at the half, LSU shot a dismal 31.3-percent (10 of 32) from the field in the first half, including a 4 of 11 clip from the three-point line.
The teams traded licks in the
opening minutes of the second half. Terry Martin hit a floater in the lane to
close the gap to three points, down 36-33. On the Tigers' next possession, it
was Martin again tying the game 36-36 with a three-pointer as the clock read
17:30, forcing an
Coming out of the timeout Prowell
On the Tigers' next trip down the
floor, Frank Tolbert stuck a knife in LSU's heart pulling the trigger from way
down town allowing
The teams went almost three minutes
without points before
LSU began to pull away as Martin
drove to the basket for his 17th point of the game. Martin made a
nice baseline drive, converted the layup and drew the foul. He missed the chance
at the charity stripe, but
But just as they have the entire game, the Tigers answered LSU's run when Robertson bucketed a three pointer, closing the gap to 52-50.
Then, it was Martin again.
On LSU's next trip down the floor, Martin found an open look in the corner, which he buried pushing the homestanding Tigers' lead back to five, 55-50.
Dollard banged in a turnaround layup over LSU's Magnum Rolle again making it a three-point game and the homestanding Tigers carried a 57-54 lead into the final media timeout at the 3:34 mark.
Rasheem Barrett netted a layup off
a nice pass from Dollard on a designed play coming out of the timeout cutting
LSU's lead to a single point 57-56. But
Dameon Mason scored his first points of the game giving LSU a five-point, 61-56 lead on a driving layup just inside the two-minute point in the second half.
On a missed three-point attempt by Lewis, Barrett got the offensive board and scored the putback making it a 61-58 ball game. As LSU's fans grew into a frenzy, Mitchell hit a quick turnaround jumper at the other end pushing the lead back to a five-point advantage 63-58.
"One of the things that gave us an opportunity to win that game was that we defended them well," Brady said.