LSU Basketball Survives Another Second Half Collapse With 69-67 Win Over Texas in SEC/Big 12 Showdown
For the second time of the week, LSU basketball blew a double digit second half lead and for the second time this week LSU escaped with the win, defeating Texas 69-67 in the SEC/Big 12 Showdown.
The win over the Longhorns marks the sixth straight game the Tigers (15-4, 6-0) have won by four points or less, the first time that's happened in program history. It's also the eighth straight win overall for the club, which will undoubtedly push LSU into the top-25 for the first time since November.
Unlike the close call against Florida, Saturday's game couldn't have started better from a scoring perspective for LSU. The Tigers shot 55% from the field led by the freshman Trendon Watford, who dropped 12 of his career-high 22 points in the first half.
The ball was moving well as 10 of the Tigers 16 made baskets came off of assists and led to a 42-32 halftime lead.
After shooting the lights out of the ball in the first half, the second half didn't come nearly as easy for the purple and gold. Despite a 6-0 run to open the half which grew the lead to 16 points, the largest of the game, Texas slowly started to chomp into the LSU lead.
A 17-2 Texas run fueled by LSU turnovers and a seven minute scoring drought, allowed the Longhorns to not only get back in the game but take a 58-56 lead with 4:52 to go. LSU would miss 11 of 13 shots as Texas climbed its way back into the game, forcing the Tigers into seven turnovers over that span.
All of the sudden it turned into a four minute game with LSU down two, a position that's become all too familiar with this club during its now eight game win streak. And just like the previous five games that have come down to the wire, LSU was the more composed team down the stretch.
LSU got back to what it does best, pounding the paint with layups from Darius Days and Watford and clutch free throws from Skylar Mays to close out the Longhorns. On the defensive end, Texas missed four of its six crunch time shots including a costly turnover with 1:53 to go in a tie ball game which helped LSU secure the win.
Outside of Watford's 22 points, LSU had a balanced scoring attack with four other players scoring either nine or 10 points. The Tigers' ability to capitalize at the free throw line, where they went 16-for-20, combined with their dominance on the glass (36-23), helped build out their early lead.
LSU is back in action Wednesday night at the PMAC with Alabama coming to Baton Rouge. The game is scheduled for a 6 p.m. tip-off on ESPN2 and, based off of the last six games, will surely finish in dramatic fashion one way or the other