2012 can officially start after tonight. LSU is in the victory column in something. Tuesday night, the LSU basketball team defeated Auburn in overtime 65-58. The game was a summary of the highs and lows the past month has brought Tiger nation.
The first half was the game way by far the best that LSU had played all year. They shot 48 percent from the field, grabbed 20 rebounds, and even threw 12 assist. They passed the ball around the Auburn’s’ zone the Gunner Kiel is reconsidered his commitment. LSU was able to jump out to a 10-2 lead thanks to two, three point shots by Ralston Turner. Turner after looking like he was having a break out game decided to climb back into his shell for the rest of the half. Luckily for LSU, Anthony Hickey (18 points, seven rebounds and six assist), Justin Hamilton (13 points and eight rebounds) and Storm Warren (10 points and seven rebounds) could carry the load. The three helped LSU gain a lead of 13 with under five minutes to go in the first half. Then things got interesting.
Auburn went on a run to close out the half and Frankie Sullivan drained a 60 foot shot to close the lead to seven. The ugly Tigers would go on a 20-6 run to not only close the lead, but took a 37-34 lead. Sullivan was the main offense during the run. Of the 37 points scored to that point, Sullivan accounted for 19 of them. Auburn benefited from switching to a full court man defense, and once again LSU proved they struggle in a up tempo game. Instead of trying to wear down Auburn while they were exerting a lot of effort playing man to man. LSU settled for the first jump shot they could take. LSU dominated the boards in the first half, but because of the change in defense it was Auburn that won the rebounding battle 44-37.
Auburn would stretch the lead to eight and for a moment it seemed like they were going to run away with the game. Anthony Hickey had other ideas. Hickey took over with the final ten minutes and overtimes, scoring 11 of his 18 points during that stretch. LSU was able to close the gap thanks to Hickey and Hamilton, but they were just hanging on.
Auburn leaned heavily on their center Rob Chubb. Chubb was only averaging nine points and four rebounds per game, but had a breakout performance against LSU. Chubb scored 15 points and grabbed 12 rebounds. Even though Auburn shot 3-15 from three in the second half, Chubb’s five offensive rebounds gave the team a second or third chance at scoring. The lack of offensive rebounding almost killed LSU, they lost the battle 17 to 7 (they led the SEC in offensive rebounding heading into the game) and were outscored 13-4 on second chance points.
With :21 second left Aurburn inbounded the ball trailing 56-53. They were able to have a shoot around before Varez Ward made a game tying three with only :002 seconds left. Why didn’t LSU just foul with less than :10 seconds to play? You knew Auburn would get a clean look at three due to its height advantage over the LSU guards. They also showed all game that they were not afraid in shooting deep by attempting 24 threes, I was a little shocked that Trent Johnson allowed them the looks with Auburn dominating the offensive glass.
Maybe Trent’s play was to let Auburn ware itself out with all the rebounding and win the game in overtime. If that was the plan, it worked. LSU outscored Auburn 9-2 in overtime and Auburn only shot one for five.
The win improves LSU’s record to 12-6 (surpassing its win total last year) and 2-2 in SEC play. The win puts a big smile for all of Tiger nation to appreciate for the next couple of days. Thanks guys, this feels good.