LSU Upsets West Virginia, 73-72
LSU head coach Johnny Jones
The LSU Tigers captured a big non-conference college basketball road win on Thursday night, defeating the 16th-ranked West Virginia Mountaineers, 73-72, at the WVU Coliseum in Morgantown, West Virginia.
Josh Gray converted a driving lay-up with only :09 remaining to give LSU the exciting win in their first true road game of the season, while knocking West Virginia from the ranks of the unbeaten.
The game was part of the SEC/Big XII Challenge.
Trailing, 11-9, at the 14:46 mark of the first half, LSU went on a 13-5 run over the next 4:03, to take a 22-16 lead at the 10:43 mark.
After continuing to lead, 33-27, with 4:11 to play in the initial half, the Tigers went cold, and West Virginia took advantage, outscoring LSU, 16-5, for the rest of the half, to take a 43-38 lead into the locker room at halftime.
LSU out-shot West Virginia from the field in the first half, 43%-34%, while holding down a 24-16 rebound advantage.
Jarell Martin led the way for the Tigers over the first 20 minutes, accumulating 13 points and nine rebounds, while Juwan Staten paced the Mountaineers, with 11 points and four assists.
The Mountaineers sustained their momentum to begin the second half, going on a 9-0 run over the first 1:51 of the second period, to extend their lead to 52-38 at the 18:09 mark.
That's when LSU began a run of their own, 14-3, and after a Tim Quarterman layup had cut the West Virginia lead to 55-52 with 11:35 to play.
The Tigers didn't stop there, scoring six of the next nine points, and were able to tie the game, 58-58, at the 8:09 mark, after two free throws by Keith Hornsby.
West Virginia responded however, outscoring LSU, 10-4, over the next 4:27, to take a 68-62 lead with only 3:42 remaining.
But LSU wouldn't go away, as Quarterman nailed a three-point shot at the 3:39 mark, before Jordan Mickey converted a lay-up at the 2:31 mark, making it a 5-0 Tigers run, to trim the West Virginia advantage to 68-67.
After the Mountaineers got a lay-up from Devin Williams, and then a free throw from Daxter Miles, Jr., to extend their lead to 71-67 with 1:32 to play, the Tigers came right back, trimming the lead to 71-69 on a tap in by Martin at the 1:15 mark, and then took the lead, 72-71, on a clutch three-pointer by Hornsby with :32 left.
Jonathan Holton went to the free thrown line, looking to give West Virginia the lead with :27 left but missed the front end of a one-and-one, before Miles came through with a big tap-in, to give the Mountaineers a 73-72 lead with only :25 remaining.
Gray then put the Tigers ahead with :09 left, hitting the driving lay-up, to make it 74-73.
West Virginia had one final opportunity to win it, but Staten's jumper was off target, as well as an attempted tap-in, and LSU left with the exciting 1-point win.
LSU ended the game out-shooting West Virginia from the floor, 46%-34%, while also finishing with a 44-36 rebounding advantage.
Quarterman led the way for the Tigers, scoring 21 points and grabbing seven rebounds, while Martin finished with 18 points and 14 boards.
In a losing cause for the Mountaineers, Staten had 17 points, to go along with four assists and four steals.
With the victory, LSU improved to 6-2 on the season, while West Virginia dropped to 7-1.
The Tigers return to action on Saturday, December 13 when they host Sam Houston St.