It was a contest between predators and scavengers Wednesday night as the latter wanted to swoop in the PMAC and take all of Mike the Tiger's Thanksgiving left overs. The Tigers had their work cut out for them as their defenses proved thin and had to rely on heavy fire power from a couple of their big guns to thwart the Osprey air assault. In the end the Tigers held firm and went on to win 119-108.
The Ospreys began the night shooting back-to-back-to-back three point baskets from Beau Beech. The treys kept falling all game as the Tigers came out sluggish on defense. Beech went on to shoot six for seven from beyond the arc to begin the game and finished with eight for 11 shooting from beyond the arc and 31 points on the night. At the half LSU trailed 56-48, but then the Ben Simmons show appeared.
Simmons connected with three consecutive baskets, and LSU was down 56-54 at the 18:44 mark as a timeout was called on the court. He provided the spark the Tigers needed on offense. Simmons finished the game with 43 points, 14 rebounds, five steals, seven assists, and three blocks. It was the first time LSU had a 43-plus point scorer since Shaquille O'Neal in 1991. It was also the most points scored by a player in the SEC since Arkansas' Rotnei Clarke had 51 in a game in 2009. According to ESPN statisticians, Simmons was the first major college player to have a game of 40 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists, and 5 blocks in the last 20 years.
The 119 points scored as a team was the most scored by LSU since the Tigers broke the century mark against Northwestern State on November 20, 2012. However, the 119 points almost were not enough as the Ospreys would not go away quietly, cutting LSU's lead down to 7 multiple times in the final minutes. The only thing stopping them from sinking treys was the clock running out.
The Tigers are now off for finals and will resume play December 13 at Houston. They expect to have Craig Victor in the rotation and could have a healthy Keith Hornsby as well.