Tigers Drop Bucks In 2OT, 113-101

In a game played at an NBA-pace, LSU pulled away in the second overtime for a 113-101 victory over visiting Ohio State Saturday. If you like offense, this game was for you. Defense took the night off.

LSU's Darrel Mitchell scored 32 points and Brandon Bass added 29, as the host Tigers outlasted Ohio State, 113-101, in double-overtime Saturday.

Je'Kel Foster and Ivan Harris set career-highs with 20 points apiece for Ohio State. But the Buckeyes (12-5) ran out of gas in the second overtime, while Mitchell and Bass stayed on fire for the Tigers (8-5).

"They had a couple great players that we couldn't stop tonight," OSU coach Thad Matta told WBNS AM. "We tried every trick in the book to stop them and they just made plays over us. We have to find a way – we gave (Iowa's Pierre) Pierce 31, (Wisconsin's Mike) Wilkinson 29, tonight we gave up 32 and 29 – we have to find a stopper on this team.

"But I think on the flip side, we made some courageous plays. We continued to battle. We were running guys in and out all through the last part of the game and into overtime and I thought they did a great job. Great job both ways. I thought LSU made some plays and we made some plays and unfortunately for us, it was a game that we had a chance to win but couldn't finish the thing."

Mitchell, a 5-11 junior guard, entered play averaging just 12.4 points per game. Bass, a 6-8 sophomore forward, was averaging a team-best 16.3 points.

"We just weren't able to stop them," Matta said. "And they had a hard time stopping us, but there's going to come a point in the game when you need that stop and we just weren't able to get it done."

OSU's Foster was responsible for sending the game to the second overtime when he knocked down a 3-pointer with 3.1 seconds left in the first OT, knotting the score at 93-93.

LSU, showing no signs of fatigue, went on an 8-0 run to start the second overtime and took a commanding 101-93 lead with 2:37 left.

Ohio State center Terence Dials made the count 101-95 with a layup, but Mitchell countered with a 3-pointer at the 2:05 mark, giving the Tigers a 104-95 advantage. Tack Minor then gave LSU its largest lead of the game at 106-95 with 1:30 left, the proverbial nail in the coffin.

"We were just trying to hold on in that second overtime, but couldn't get it done," Matta said. "They were hot and we were low on energy."

The Tigers led 45-43 at halftime. Harris paced the Buckeyes with 15 points in the first half.

Ohio State grabbed a 50-49 lead early in the second half on a Harris jumper. But LSU then went on a 10-0 run and took a 59-50 lead.

With 8:55 left in the second half, LSU went up 69-58 on a Mitchell 3.

Led by Foster and Harris, Ohio State then began to mount a comeback. The Buckeyes went on a 13-6 run over the next four minutes, cutting LSU's lead to 75-71 with 3:54 left.

Minor then made two free throws for a 77-71 Tiger lead, but Foster responded with a trey, cutting it to 77-74 with 2:41 left.

Ohio State's Tony Stockman then tied the game at 77-all with a 3-pointer at the 1:36 mark.

After a Glen Davis turnover, Stockman knocked down another 3, giving the Buckeyes an 80-77 lead with 55.6 seconds remaining.

After LSU missed a 3, OSU's Jamar Butler corralled the rebound, but Stockman turned the ball over just past midcourt.

Mitchell then made a clutch 3-pointer to tie the game at 80-80 with 6.1 seconds left in regulation.

Brandon Fuss-Cheatham stepped out of bounds for OSU, giving the ball back to LSU with a chance to win it with 4.1 seconds left. But Minor missed a 3 and Davis' tip did not go, sending the game to overtime.

Things continued to go back-and-forth at a frenetic pace in the first overtime with each team trading buckets. Bass gave the Tigers the lead at 90-88 on a 15-foot jumper with 48.4 seconds left. After a Stockman airball, Mitchell made 1 of 2 free throws for a 91-88 LSU lead with 16.3 seconds left.

Stockman then made a pair of free throws, bringing the score to 91-90 with 9.9 seconds left. Mitchell then matched him with two of his own and LSU led 93-90 with 9.3 seconds left, setting the stage for Foster's clutch triple.

Although things fell apart in the second OT, Matta will remember the gusty performance from Foster.

"Couldn't be happier for Je'Kel," he said. "He really did a tremendous job. He's a kid that cares so much. Unfortunately for us, just not enough in the tank for us tonight."

Dials and Stockman each had 17 points for the Buckeyes. JJ Sullinger added 13 and Fuss-Cheatham tallied 10.

Antonio Hudson had 20 points for LSU. Minor added 17 and "Big Baby" Davis had 15.

Both teams shot the ball well throughout the game, except OSU in the second overtime. Overall, Ohio State shot 55.7 percent from the field, while LSU shot 52.1 percent. The Buckeyes made 18 of 34 3-point attempts.

And the statistic of the game? LSU made 29 of 31 foul shots.

Ohio State hosts Minnesota (12-4, 2-1) Wednesday at 8 p.m.


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