Ben Simmons struggled at times, but gets big-time help from Tim Quarterman and Craig Victor
Hard pressed for an encore to one of the greatest games of this or any decade from Monday night, Tuesday night’s contest in Baton Rouge wasn’t even close. And I bet former LSU track star and current star on the Fox News Channel’s Outnumbered news/talk program in Sandra Smith was watching with very keen interest.
LSU ran off to a 14 point lead at one point during the contest and mostly stayed with a double digit lead winning handily 85-67 in a raucous and packed Pistol Pete Maravich Assembly Center.
Although Ben Simmons did have one early highlight reel play, when at the 15:10 mark of the second half saw Quarterman execute a perfect alley-oop lob from half court. Quarterman then added a jumper and tip-in before Murray nailed a three of his own and then a mid-range jumper while being fouled on successive possessions that kept the Tigers in the lead at 49-41. Kentucky would only get as close as four at 58-54 with 9:36 left on an Alex Poythress layup.
The big Achilles heel for the Wildcats on Tuesday was their overall shooting and later foul trouble. UK shot 9 of 28 in the first half (32.1 percent) and made only 12 of 23 free throw attempts during the first 20 minutes.
Although Ben Simmons finished a perfect 5-for-5 shooting for 14 points and 10 hard earned rebounds, his teammates were completely involved and made this upset possible. LSU shot nearly 50 percent from the floor while also going only 19 of 30 from the foul line. Quarterman led the charge with 21 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists, Victor added 15 points to go along with 12 rebounds. Tyler Ulis of Kentucky was the game’s high scorer with 23 points and tabbing six assists.
And you want some more irony? Current LSU coach Johnny Jones was employed one time over a decade ago at Memphis, and he was replaced by John Calipari. I guess turnabout is fair play. LSU scored 22 points off 14 Kentucky turnovers, and IMHO–that was the difference in the game.
Next up for the 9-5 Tigers, a date at The Swamp in Florida, while Kentucky (losers of three of their last 7 games) stays on the road to take on Alabama.
Both games take place on Saturday.