Nightmarish streak ends for Brady, Tigers

The nightmare that was LSU basketball ended Saturday afternoon with a 71-67 victory over Arkansas.

It took almost a month for John Brady's Tigers to earn a victory. Their last win came on January 16 against Ole Miss in the Maravich Center in front of a excited crowd that had high expectations for the home team. Just last season LSU earned a 14-2 conference record, won the Southeastern Conference regular season championship and advanced to the Final-Four.


Every season is different, but not many would have predicted LSU to struggle in conference play the way they did in the past month. The six game losing streak finally came to an end for Tiger fans, and now the nightmare is over.


"I feel great for our team," Brady said. "I'm to the point where I don't get all caught up. I don't sleep and I have a stress in my voice. I'm happy for my players to get the win. That was just one. We need four or five. It's a good win, but there are more opportunities out there for us."


Saturday's contest resembled almost every game they played in the past month. LSU played well, and then they did not. They even led by 10 points, and then they did not. But the difference for the Tigers was they found a way to win with the game on the line.


"It wears on you," Temple said. "I think we have a team that is confident and a coaching staff that is confident. We are confident in ourselves that we can win because we have done it before. I think it wore on us a little bit."


Brady's talented squad has been able to compete in conference play throughout the season, they just could not finish. A last second three-pointer at Georgia struck the Tigers hard at the beginning of their six-game skid, along with a three-point loss against No. 19 Alabama with another on the road at Tennessee. The six-game skid was the longest since 2002, which reached six games as well.


The difference for LSU last year during their conference championship run was their ability to finish close games. This season they have been hard to come bye.


"Coach always tells us to stand tall and stay poised," Mitchell said. "We all looked at each other and said we are alright. We'll stay poised."


With the game tied 63-63 and two minutes remaining on the clock, Glenn "Big Baby" Davis scored a pivotal three point play to take the lead. Davis went up strong to the basket for a layup and came down with two points and an Arkansas foul. After the made free-throw, the Tigers found themselves in control at the end of the game for a change.


"We wanted to win," Davis said. "This is a family and we wanted to win. It was a hostile environment that we are used to having. I'm not trying to pad my stats. I just want to win. I missed it so I went back up and missed, so I went back up and made it.


"Win. That's all we thought about. That's all we wanted."


A Garrett Temple break-away dunk and a Terry Martin layup sealed the victory for LSU and may have saved their season. Unless the Tigers grab more victory's like Saturday's against Arkansas, their post-season could be much shorter than expected.


Brady said during post-game interviews that his team looked like his team of old. Not too many people would disagree with him. Davis was more aggressive in the paint then in games past, and it showed in the stat sheet with 19 points and 18 rebounds.


"I noticed something in the game got him excited. He looked like his old self," Brady said. "Something in the course of the second half got him on a little bit. I don't know what it was. But I noticed his enthusiasm was good."


Tasmin Mitchell followed with 16 points and three blocks, while Martin supplied pressure from the perimeter with a trey of three-pointers for 13 points.


LSU (14-10, 3-7 SEC), still stands at the bottom of the SEC western division, but amazingly not far behind division leading Alabama at 5-5 in conference play. The Crimson Tide hold the tie-breaker over LSU with a season sweep, which means the Tigers would need a lot of help to win the division.


The Tigers would also have to turn their season around and go from a six-game losing streak to a possibly a seven-game win streak with trips to Kentucky and Florida remaining on their schedule.


"We just wanted to get a win," Lazare said. "We lost six in a row and just wanted to get the enthusiasm back up. When ever I had the opportunity to make plays, I just wanted to help the team. We just want to approach it one game at a time and stay focused."

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