Martin leads LSU past Auburn 65-63

BATON ROUGE, La. – Terry Martin made one of his first four three-point attempts on Saturday.

Luckily for LSU, though, Martin eventually found his groove.


The junior guard from Monroe ended the game hitting five of nine three-pointers and scored a game-high 23 points as No. 13 LSU squeaked past Auburn 65-63 at the Pete Maravich Center Saturday afternoon.


"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 Davis chipped in 11 on a fairly quiet night for the big man.


"After watching tape on Auburn I knew they were a good basketball team and were well coached," Brady said. "They have four out of five starters from that team back and we don't have as much experience returning as they do.


Rasheem Barrett led Auburn with 18 points while Quan Prowell put up 12 and Josh Dollard scored 11.


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 Auburn wouldn't go away.


Auburn's Prowell cut the lead to 63-60 on a layup. LSU's Tasmin Mitchell made it a four-point, LSU lead by sinking the front end of a two-shot trip to the free throw line.


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.


Auburn quickly worked the ball down the floor and Lewis got an open look at the basket. But his shot bounced hard off the back iron as the Tigers saw their shot an upset fall two point short.


"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 Auburn lead.


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 Auburn its largest lead of the first half, a nine-point lead up 28-19, with a pair of free throws with 4:10 left in the first 30 minutes of play.


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 Auburn its biggest lead of the game.


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 Auburn lead. Martin's second three-pointer of the game got it to five points as LSU trailed 30-25.


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 Auburn timeout.


Coming out of the timeout Prowell allowed Auburn to re-take the lead 38-36 with a turnaround baby hook shot. But again it was Martin who answered the bell. The junior from Monroe drilled a three from the corner giving LSU's its first lead 39-38 since midway through the first half.


But again, Auburn countered.


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 Auburn to re-gain the advantage 41-39 with 15:45 left to play in the game.


Temple tied the game 41-41 on a coast to coast layup at the 13:55 mark coming off the heels off a blocked shot by Davis.


After a Temple steal, Tasmin Mitchell drove to the hole, missed his layup but was fouled. The sophomore form Denham Springs gave LSU its third lead of the game as well as its largest advantage of the game up two points, 43-41.


Auburn regained the lead 44-43 when Dollard hit a spinning hook shot. But Mitchell converted his first three-pointer of the game drilling a long range bomb with 10:55 left to play and a 46-44 LSU lead.


The teams went almost three minutes without points before Davis ended the drought making the second of two free throws for LSU largest lead of the game, 47-44.


Temple got tagged with a personal foul as Kelvin Lewis attempted a three-point shot. Lewis erased LSU's three-point lead making all three foul sots to tie the game 47-47 with 7:55 left to play.


But Davis immediately put the Tigers back out in front 49-47 with a layup on LSU's next possession.


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 Davis got the offensive rebound passed it back into Mitchell, who was fouled. Mitchell made one of two free throws for a five-point, 52-47 LSU lead, its largest of the game.


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.

After an Auburn basket made it a three-point, 55-52 game, Garrett Temple grabbed a loose end on the AU end of the floor. He dished the ball to Martin, who converted a layup and drew a foul. Martin missed the free toss, but again LSU led by five, 57-52.


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 Davis quickly took the inlet pass on the other end of the floor and put up an easy layup for a 59-56 Tiger advantage.


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.

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