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LSU Beats Buzzer and Demon Deacons as Tigers Beat Wake Forest 72-70

Justice Hill beats the buzzer and KJ Williams goes off in Atlanta

NCAA Basketball: Texas-Arlington at Louisiana State Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

The LSU men’s basketball team (8-1) scored its biggest win of the 2022-2023 season as the Tigers rallied to beat Wake Forest at the Holiday Hoopsgiving event in Atlanta.

Wake Forest led by as many as 20 thanks in large part to a 17-0 run early in the first half but LSU showed some real toughness to battle back and win the game. Justice Hill made a driving layup with 2.1 seconds remaining to give LSU the win.

Hill wouldn’t have been able to win the game for LSU had it not been for the efforts KJ Williams. Williams recorded his 30th career double-double as he went off to the tune of 35 points (second highest scoring game in his collegiate career) and 10 rebounds. Hill was a deadeye from deep Saturday hitting seven of nine three-pointers.

The three ball is basically the single biggest reason why LSU won Saturday. Wake Forest shot better overall from the floor, out-rebounded LSU (37-30), was +2 in bench production, and +12 in points in the paint.

But Wake Forest also led LSU in a not as good category: turnovers. Wake turned it over 15 times and LSU was able to cash those mistakes in for 21 points.

When the Tigers had to have it, the shooting came alive in the second half; LSU shot 48 percent in the second half after a paltry 39 percent in the first. Derek Fountain added 11 points and Cam Hayes had 13 off the bench.

The non-conference portion of LSU’s schedule is starting to wind down and the Tigers are in...let’s say an interesting spot. They’re 8-1 (and probably could be 8-0 had it not been for questionable time keeping in the Cayman Islands) but haven’t looked great in their last few outings. LSU only beat Wofford (a good mid major program to be fair!) by three, got all they could handle from a truly awful UT-Arlington team, and trailed by 20 tonight against Wake. LSU will have three more games to work the kinks out before kicking off conference play with a home game against Arkansas (December 28) and traveling to Kentucky (January 3).

Next up LSU will host North Carolina Central on Tuesday. Tipoff is 6:00 and the game will be carried on SEC Network.