Bruce Pearl picked up the 500th win of his coaching career Wednesday night at the expense of LSU as his Auburn Tigers held on for the 78-74 win at home.
Auburn was up 5-2 two minutes into the game. LSU made both shots from the free throw line as they trailed 7-4. LSU then made it a two point game before Auburn called a timeout at the 14:47 mark of the first half trailing 14-11.
LSU took an 18-15 lead, then Antonio Blakeney was at the free throw line and increased the lead to six. He scored on the assist from Skylar Mays with the jam for the slam dunk as LSU was on an 8-0 run. Auburn answered and scored a three pointer off LSU’s fourth turnover in succession as the pendulum swung in the opposite direction.
Blakeney would later get the offensive rebound and put the ball through the hoop. He now had nine points off the bench. Six turnovers for LSU in its last seven possessions, but the Tigers still led 28-24 until Mustapha Herron scored a jumper. LSU’s 11 point lead had dwindled down to two at under 6:00 minute media timeout. Auburn retook the lead at 29-28 on an 11-0 scoring run.
The scoring run grew to 18-2 in favor of Auburn before Elbert Robinson found the basket for LSU’s first points in a long time. Mays then netted two points from the free throw line making it a three point game. LSU trailed Auburn 35-32 as the first half came to a close.
T.J. Dunans got the basket for Auburn leading off the second half, then Jared Harper scored his second trey on the night. Auburn was leading by 10 just over 17 minutes remaining in the game. Auburn later scored on another three point basket as LSU looked flat in the second half. The home Tigers with another trey as it was about to sink LSU’s battleship, until LSU cut it to a nine point game at the 8:57 mark of the second half.
Goal tending called on Auburn to make it a seven point game. Elbert Epps then scored a basket making the game 59-54 giving LSU 19 second chance points. Epps recorded 12 points and 10 rebounds at that point in the game giving him the double-double.
Elbert Robinson made it a two point game, and Kieran Hayward got the defensive rebound giving his team the chance. Blakeney added two points to again make it a two point game at 63-61 with under five minutes remaining in the game. Duop Reath got the offensive rebound and the score as LSU now trailed 68-65 giving him 10 points. LSU called its final timeout with 2:02 left on the clock trailing 73-65.
Epps connected with three points on one shot coming out of the timeout. He could not connect on a subsequent three point try, but Reath picked him up and got the three pointer on the next possession. Having no timeouts remaining in the final two minutes did the LSU Tigers in as their Tiger counterparts sealed the deal at the free throw line.
LSU's next game is Saturday night at 7:30 PM CST from Arkansas on the SEC Network.