That’s how LSU (12-1, 0-1) started off SEC play in maybe the toughest arena in the conference against what looks like the best team in the league. From that moment on LSU would outscore Auburn 54-52 but starting off in a 17-point hole is too big of a deficit to overcome and the Tigers were handed its first loss of the 2021-22 season.
The Tigers could not have picked a worse time to have its worst shooting night in quite some time. LSU shot 20% from the floor in the first half, which per ESPN Stats & Info was the worst performance by an LSU team in any half since the 2013-2014 season. Auburn, which has just as good a defense as LSU’s, blocked an astonishing 14 shots with 11 coming from center Walker Kessler.
LSU’s missed Adam Miller but has been able to work around his injury, but tonight was maybe the first night this season where you really felt his absence. LSU shot 6-29 from three and the starting backcourt combination of Eric Gaines and Xavier Pinson combined to shoot 4-20 with 11 turnovers. Brandon Murray also missed Wednesday’s game with a hamstring injury.
LSU needed a star effort from one of its big guns but nobody answered the call. Darius Days scored 11 points but was 4-14 overall and 3-12 from three; Efton Reid was a non-factor going up against Kessler, only mustering two points and two rebounds; even Tari Eason was less than his stellar self. On the one hand he had 11 points and seven rebounds, but Eason also fouled out. The lone bright spot was we finally saw freshman guard Justice Williams, who was the first Tiger off the bench and had seven points, three rebounds, and a pair of steals in 24 minutes.
Still, to LSU’s credit they hung in Wednesday up until the very end. LSU was able to get as close as six points in the second half before a pair of back-breaking turnovers pushed Auburn’s lead back to 11.
“I still feel great about this team,” Will Wade said. “We’re built on a rock solid foundation. We’re good. We’ve got good people, we played extremely hard tonight, we just didn’t play with the discipline we needed and we didn’t make shots.”
LSU will need to pick themselves up off the mat in a hurry because the schedule doesn’t get any easier. Next up, LSU will host Kentucky Tuesday night at 6:00 P.M.