Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

LSU overcomes slow start to defeat Auburn

February 09, 2019 - 3:34 pm

Tyler Nunez |

No. 21 LSU gave up 11 3-pointers in the first half and trailed by as many as 16 points, but it once again showed comfort playing from behind to come back and defeat a scrappy Auburn squad 83-78 in another dramatic game in the PMAC on Saturday.

LSU (19-4, 9-1 Southeastern Conference) held its spot at No. 2 in the SEC standings before going to Rupp Arena on Tuesday to take on the team it shares that spot with in No. 5 Kentucky.

Auburn (16-7, 5-5) came out shooting lights out from the 3-point line, hitting 11 of 19 from behind the arc in the first half and at one point led by 16 midway through the first half because of that shooting,.

But LSU was able to mitigate the damage and cut the lead before halftime. A Tremont Waters 3-pointer at the buzzer made it a 41-38 game in Auburn’s favor at the break.

LSU came out full steam ahead in the second half with Waters hitting three 3-pointers in the first five minutes of the half to give LSU a lead that Auburn struggled to erase.

In front of an approving PMAC crowd, LSU slowly built a lead that Auburn tried multiple times to erase with its 3-point shooting, but never could quite get there.

During the fast-paced second half, Auburn coach Bruce Pearl received a technical foul for leaving the box just moments after receiving a warning.

Auburn did get LSU’s lead down to a point in the final minute, but LSU held on with free throw shooting and a critical stop in the final 15 seconds of the game in which Jared Harper missed two 3-point attempts that would have tied the game.

LSU outrebounded Auburn 47-34 with 22 of those rebounds coming on the offensive side of the ball. Kavell Bigby Williams had 11 rebounds (seven offensive) and Marlon Taylor had seven rebounds (five offensive).

Waters finished the game 19 points and 10 assists for the double-double. Skylar Mays added a team-high 20 points while Reid had a double-double of his own with 13 points and 10 rebounds.

Jared Harper led Auburn with a game high 25 points points, seven assists and six rebounds.

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