On Saturday, the Auburn Tigers traveled to Baton Rouge to take on the LSU Tigers (#21) in what was a pivotal game for both teams. For LSU a win meant maintaining a tie for second place in SEC with the Kentucky Wildcats who had won earlier in the day. For Auburn, a road win would show continued improvement for a squad that had been pre-season SEC title favorites but who had also sputtered out of the gate to a 5-4 start to conference play.
Auburn, who is currently ranked 5th in the country in three-point field goals made per game, got off to a hot start from behind the line. The Bruce Pearl led squad converted 60% of their three-point field goals in the first half and at one point built a 16 point lead. However, LSU refused to go away and a buzzer beater three-pointer by Tremont Waters cut Auburn’s lead to only three points at halftime.
The two teams traded baskets for the first three minutes of the second quarter, but with 17:06 left in the game LSU took a 45-43 lead and never looked back. The Tigers controlled the game for most of the second half until the last minute when Auburn made a late push to close the final score to 83-78. Led by 20 points from Skylar Mays and 19 more by Tremont Waters, the Tigers moved to 19-4 on the season and 9-1 in conference.
After the game LSU Coach Will Wade commented on the overcoming the early deficit, “We were pretty ready to play. I thought we were ready to go. A couple of those threes they hit were just really – (Jared) Harper hit one where Skylar (Mays) was draped on him. They were really, really tough shots. I like that our team hangs in there. Sometimes we’re hanging by a fingernail. We hang in there, hang in there, hang in there, and we are able to make plays and get back in the game and hold them down.”
Wade also commented on his team’s upcoming matchup with Kentucky, “We’ll get everybody together tomorrow. Set the mindset and get ready to go. It will certainly be a tough road game, they’re a top five team… really good environment so we’ll prepare for the next two days and see what happens.”
- LSU will travel to Kentucky (#5) on Tuesday to take on the Wildcats in a game for sole possession for second place in the SEC.
- Auburn will return home to host Ole Miss on Wednesday night.