The Tigers started off slow, shooting just 20% through the first four minutes of the game. With Xavier Pinson and Darius Days out, the Tigers were forced to create a new lineup, starting Tari Eason, Alex Fudge and Justice Williams for the first time this season.
After going down 10-4, they went on a 9-3 run that tied the game at 13. The game was back and forth from there, with tie-after-tie being the theme of the first half. There were just two leads of above four in the remaining time, with LSU having both of them at 23-19 and 34-30, and the score at the half was 34-31. Tigers were 58% from the line in the first half, shooting a surprising 19 free throws and making just 11. A lot of the team statistics were tight, including field goal percentage, three-point percentage, assists, steals, blocks and, surprisingly, fouls.
Bad possession to start the second half, but the Tigers seemed to get it together quickly. They would take a three-point lead (40-37) before going five minutes without a field goal and falling behind by three points. The game continued to go back-and-forth but the Tigers struggled, as Tari Eason was in and out of the game with an apparent leg injury and Eric Gaines and Efton Reid were in foul trouble. LSU consistently found momentum, but careless play would lose it for them, and eventually found them down by five with three minutes left in the game. But they fought back to within one, before tying the game with a minute to go. Their defense played incredibly strong, and they made free throws when it mattered, taking an insurmountable lead with :17 seconds left and holding on to it. Brandon Murray (21), Eric Gaines (16) and Tari Eason (14) combined for 51 of the team’s 70 points.