In their first overtime contest since February, the #19 LSU Tigers fell to the #14 Florida State Seminoles 79-76 in a thrilling Top 20 match up.
After back-to-back three pointers by Tremont Waters and Skylar Mays, the Tigers found themselves with a 9 point lead and only three minutes left on the clock. FSU would put together a 7-0 run over the next two minutes before tying it up at 68. LSU only scored 8 points in the third period of the game and even allowed five offensive rebounds during one long Seminole possession.
Waters was able to tie the game up at 76 with a perfect free throw trio, but FSU’s Mfiondu Kabengele killed the Tiger hopes with a dagger three pointer while leaving a half second on the clock.
Skylar Mays led the Tigers in scoring with 19 points, and added 5 rebounds and 4 assists in a very impressive performance by the junior. Freshman Ja’vonte Smart added 16 points on 13 shots, 14 of which came in the second half. Smart also picked up some slack from Tremont Waters, leading the team with 8 assists.
Naz Reid and Waters rounded out the double digit scorers for the Tigers, dropping 12 and 11 points respectively. Reid seemed relatively outmatched by the 7-foot-4 Christ Koumadje and Terance Mann who combined for 10 offensive rebounds.
Tremont Waters added 3 rebounds, 3 assists and 4 steals to his performance, but ended up responsible for 6 of LSU’s 18 turnovers. That mark is now the season high for the Tigers, their most since 17 in the narrow 97-91 win over UNC-Greensboro.
I’m hesitant to complain about an overtime loss on a literal last second three pointer against a Top 15 opponent. In fact, LSU actually moved up in the KenPom rankings from 40 to 38. Allowing 22 offensive rebounds and losing the turnover battle will almost never win a basketball game, tonight being no exception, but it is a truly impressive feat to hang with this kind of team and only fall three points short. Spare me the “sunshine-pumping” narrative, that there was what Alabama fans would call a quality loss.
LSU will take on the Oklahoma State Cowboys Sunday to wrap up the AdvoCare Invitational in the third place game. The 3-2 Cowboys lost to Villanova 77-58 today, but also boast wins over Memphis and Charleston. That contest will tip off at 3pm and will be televised on ESPN2.