No. 21 LSU defeats No. 16 Kentucky, 65-60

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BATON ROUGE – The No. 21 LSU Tigers held Kentucky to just 10 points over the final 13 minutes of the game and rallied from nine points down to defeat the No. 13/16 Wildcats, 65-60, Tuesday night at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.

The game was held on the newly dedicated Dale Brown Court in honor of the 25-year veteran of the SEC battles as head coach at LSU from 1972-97. The game was reminiscent of some of Coach Brown’s 18 victories over the Wildcats in his tenure.

Head coach Will Wade recorded his second victory over Kentucky in his five years at LSU in the first of two meetings this season between the two schools.

LSU is now 13-1 overall with a 12-game win streak dating back to last year in the Maravich Center. Kentucky falls to 11-3. Both teams are 1-1 in the Southeastern Conference.

The Tigers went to the dressing room up five, 35-30, but Kentucky made that the halftime score after picking up a loose ball and hitting a jumper as the horn sounded.

The started what would be a 14-2 run with four three-pointers and two free throws that switched the momentum to the Wildcats and put them up seven, 44-37.

The lead reached nine on another three pointer that made the Kentucky lead, 50-41, with 13:36 to play.

But then things started to happen for the Tigers. Gaines, who had struggled from the arc, buried a three to make it 50-44. And after a Kentucky miss, off an offensive rebound, Tari Eason scored and was fouled to make it 50-47 at the 11:35 mark.

Over the next almost four minutes between media timeouts, just one more point was scored on an Efton Reid free throw to cut the Wildcat lead to two at 50-48 with 8:08 to play.

It was Gaines who gave the Tigers a brief lead at 51-50, capping an 11-0 run on another Gaines three with 7:06 to play. Kentucky would quickly transition down court and Oscar Tshiebwe dunked to give Kentucky their last lead at 52-51.

But LSU didn’t let it phase them as the Tigers, with a raucous crowd of 11,808 cheering them on, got a three from Darius Days, a second chance bucket by Xavier Pinson, another Days three and a Tari Eason bucket to make it 61-52 with just 2:35 to play.

Kentucky didn’t go away getting three free throws to cut it to 61-55 with 1:52 to play. LSU turned the ball over and Davion Mintz nailed a three to make it a 61-58 game with 1:20 to play. LSU made another turnover and Mintz got a lay in to make it 61-60 with 27 seconds left.

LSU was not yet in the bonus so Kentucky was fouling setting up a crazy sequence to close the game.

It led to a runout for Eason but Tshiebwe stole the ball off the pass and came back the other way with 21 seconds left. The pass up court almost went out of bounds. A Kentucky player saved it but Pinson stole it back and got the ball to Eason for a dunk with 14.4 seconds to play to put LSU up 63-60.

As Kentucky tried to go up court, Pinson forced a turnover, Wilkinson got the ball and sent it back to Pinson who reverse dunked it with 6.5 left. Kentucky hustled down court attempted a three pointer but Eason blocked it with 1.7 to seal the LSU win.

LSU would finish the game on a 24-10 run.

Eason led LSU with 13 points, while Pinson had 11 points, four assists and three steals. Brandon Murray, back after missing the Auburn game with a hamstring issue, played 28 minutes and had 10 points.

Mintz led Kentucky with 16 points while Jacob Toppin added 14 and Kellan Grady 13 points. Tshiebwe had 13 rebounds but was held to just eight points.

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