LEXINGTON, Ky. – Just when it looked like the LSU basketball team had regained its sparkling midseason form, Kentucky showed why the Wildcats are a serious national championship contender.
The Tigers’ impressive first half paled in comparison to the Wildcats’ rally to a 71-66 Southeastern Conference victory Wednesday night at Rupp Arena.
LSU built an eight-point halftime lead and sustained it early in the second period, but Kentucky erupted on a 15-2 run fueled by 11 points from reserve Bryce Hopkins. The Wildcats opened a 65-50 lead before the Tigers mounted a closing push that got them within 68-64 with 33 seconds to go.
Sixth-ranked UK (23-5, 12-3 SEC) made three free throws sandwiched around Darius Days’ bucket in the final half minute to hold off LSU (19-9, 7-8).
Xavier Pinson poured in 26 points for the Tigers, 16 in the first half when the visitors shot 48 percent overall and sank 5 of 12 3-point tries. But LSU cooled to 36 percent aim in the final 20 minutes, and couldn’t sustain a double-digit lead for the second straight outing.
Kentucky played without two starting guards. Oscar Tshiebwe collected 17 points and 16 rebounds to pace the Wildcats.
GEORGIA STATE 82, ULM 70: The Panthers won their sixth straight and swept the season series with the Warhawks (13-16, 5-12 Sun Belt), pulling away from a 36-35 halftime edge. Corey Allen and Justin Roberts each scored 15 for GSU (14-10, 8-5). Andre Jones led the visitors with 14 points while Russell Harrison posted 13 points and 12 rebounds, and Thomas Howell scored 12 in the Warhawks’ fourth straight loss.
KELLOGG CC 14, BOSSIER PARISH CC 6: The visitors from Michigan scored in seven of the nine innings and were aided by 12 free passes from nine Cavalier pitchers. BPCC tied the score 6-6 in the fifth but the Bruins posted three more runs in the sixth and never trailed thereafter. Simon Grinberg had a 2-run double for the Cavs (9-3) and Alejandro Cazoria and Luke Bogan both had a pair of hits.
Photo Courtesy LSU ATHLETICS