Toppin, Tshiebwe pace Kentucky past LSU 74-71

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LEXINGTON, Ky. – Jacob Toppin scored 21 points shooting 9 for 13, Oscar Tshiebwe had a double-double and Kentucky held on to beat LSU 74-71 on Tuesday night.

Up 72-68, Kentucky’s Chris Livingston fouled Cam Hayes on his 3-point attempt with 10 seconds to go. Hayes sank all three free throws to reduce LSU’s deficit to a point.

On Kentucky’s ensuing possession, LSU’s Derek Fountain came up with an apparent steal on the sideline but failed to maintain control and the Wildcats kept the ball. Toppin was fouled with 3.4 seconds left and made two foul shots for the game’s final points.

KJ Williams missed a jump shot for the Tigers to close it. As his foot touched the 3-point line a made basket would still have given Kentucky (10-4, 1-1 Southeastern Conference) the win.

Tshiebwe finished with 19 points and 16 rebounds, Cason Wallace scored 14 and Sahvir Wheeler 11. Kentucky ended LSU’s seven-game win streak. Tshiebwe entered the game leading the country in rebounding at 13.6 per game.

Williams scored 23 points for LSU (12-2, 1-1), Adam Miller added 15, reserve Trae Hannibal had 12 on 5-of-6 shooting and Hayes 11.

In a series dating to Feb. 27, 1933, Kentucky improved to 93-28 against LSU.

The Tigers play at Texas A&M on Saturday. Kentucky plays No. 7 Alabama on the road Saturday.

No. 9 LSU dominates No. 24 Arkansas 69-45 in SEC opener

Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Angel Reese and Alexis Morris each scored 19 points to lead No. 9 LSU past No. 24 Arkansas in both teams’ SEC opener Thursday night, 69-45.

The Tigers (13-0), who remained one of only five Division teams still unbeaten, didn’t trail after the fourth minute of the game. Arkansas limited LSU to just 34% shooting, but LSU used its size to control the game on both ends.

Arkansas (13-3), which lost its third game in a row, managed to shoot only 28% and were dominated in the paint.

LSU outrebounded Arkansas 62-30, scored 22 second-chance points to the Razorbacks’ 7 and outscored Arkansas in the paint 30-22.

“I thought the 23 offensive rebounds, that’s who we are. As you watch us play, we’re going to the boards,” LSU coach Kim Mulkey said.

Reese, who finished with a double-double by grabbing 16 rebounds, was one of three LSU players who had double-digit boards. Flau’jae Johnson had 11, to go along with 10 points, and LaDazhia Williams had 15 rebounds.

“I don’t know how good we are,” Mulkey said. “We just go to work.”

Samara Spencer was the Razorbacks’ best player with 17 points on 7 of 15 shooting. The rest of the team went a combined 10 of 46 from the floor.

BIG PICTURE

LSU has only had one win by a single-digit margin and could stay unbeaten for a while as the Tigers don’t play another team receiving votes in the Top 25 until Feb. 12 at No. 1 South Carolina.

UP NEXT

LSU: Hosts Vanderbilt on New Year’s Day

Arkansas: Travels to Kentucky on Sunday

Williams, Fountain double up to send LSU past NC Central

Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
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BATON ROUGE, La. – KJ Williams scored 18 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, Derek Fountain also recorded a double-double and LSU beat North Carolina Central 67-57 on Tuesday night.

Fountain scored 17 points on 6-for-9 shooting and recorded a career-high 14 rebounds. LSU (9-1) remained unbeaten at home posting its sixth win of the season. The Tigers have won 10 straight at home since suffering its last loss there on Feb. 1 against Ole Miss.

Knotted at 23 with 5:29 remaining before halftime, Williams threw down a dunk then made three foul shots and that ignited a 17-3 outburst to close the half and the Tigers were ahead the rest of the way.

North Carolina Central (5-6) scored the first seven points out of the break to close within 40-33, and Justin Wright’s 3 pointer brought the Eagles within 49-45 with 11:07 left but they couldn’t get closer.

Cam Hayes added 14 points for LSU, which plays Winthrop on Saturday.

Wright scored 14 points for the Eagles and Brendan Medley-Bacon and reserve Devin Butts scored 10 apiece.

The only other time the two teams have met was six years ago to the date when the Tigers won 70-66 at home.

Johnson lifts Kansas State past LSU, 61-59 for Cayman title

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GEORGE TOWN, Cayman Islands – Keyontae Johnson scored 16 points and his jumper with five seconds left allowed Kansas State to remain undefeated and hand LSU its first loss, 61-59 in the championship game of the Cayman Islands Classic on Wednesday night.

Adam Miller gave LSU the lead, 59-57 with his layup with 1:15 left, but Markquis Nowell answered with a jumper with 49 seconds to go. The Tigers’ KJ Williams turned over the ball 15 seconds later, the Wildcats ran the clock down before Johnson took a feed from Desi Sills and buried the winning shot.

Neither team managed a two-possession lead in the final eight minutes. The game was tied three times in the final five minutes and the lead changed hands four times.

Nowell led Kansas State (6-0) with 18 points and Sills contributed 16 points off the bench.

Williams led LSU (5-1) with a double-double, putting up 17 points and pulling down 10 rebounds. Justice Hill scored 12 points and Miller contributed 11 points.

McMahon gets 74-63 win in his LSU coaching debut

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BATON ROUGE, La. — Adam Miller scored 18 points, KJ Williams had 14 rebounds to go with 13 points and LSU opened its season with a victory on Wednesday night to give Matt McMahon a 74-63 win in his Tigers coaching debut.

Justice Hill added 13 points and seven assists for the Tigers.

McMahon came over from Murray State, bringing players Hill, Williams, and Trae Hannibal with him, and lured back Miller, Mwani Wilkinson and Justice Williams – who had entered the transfer portal – as he rebuilt a roster that at one point after he was hired had no scholarship players.

New Kansas City coach Marvin Menzies is still looking for his first win with the Roos (0-2) after they lost to Division II Lincoln (Mo.) in their opener.

Senior guard Shemarri Allen scored 19 points and UIC transfer RayQuawndis Mitchell added 15 points to lead Kansas City, which has three transfers and 11 incoming freshmen on its roster. The Roos were 4 of 25 from the arc.

Wilkinson hit a 3-pointer to open the game and LSU led the rest of the way, though didn’t have a double-digit lead until early in the second half after a Miller 3-pointer. A 7-0 spurt got the Roos back within nine midway through the half and they were within five with 5 1/2 minutes to go. But Derek Fountain made a pair of free throws and added a dunk and Hill added two more free throws and a bucket to secure the win.

Reece has 31 as No. 16 LSU women set record in 125-50 win

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BATON ROUGE, La. — Angel Reese scored 31 points on 11-of-14 shooting and grabbed 13 rebounds in her debut with No. 16 LSU and the Tigers coasted past Bellarmine 125-50 in the season opener on Monday night.

The transfer from Maryland, where she was an All-American, had 14 points in the first quarter when the Tigers took a 31-8 lead and went on to a school record for points in a game.

West Virginia transfer Jasmine Carson added 17 points and Alexis Morris 16 for LSU, which returned only one starter (Morris) and five players from Kim Mulkey’s first team, which had the greatest turnaround by a first-year coach in Southeastern Conference history.

The Tigers scored the first seven points and led 17-3 and 27-5 in the first quarter. LSU scored the first 15 of the second quarter for a 46-8 lead.

Freshman Flau’jae Johnson and Kateri Poole (Ohio State) both had 13 points and freshman Sa’Myah Smith 12 with 11 rebounds for the Tigers, who shot 54% from the field, had a 56-28 rebounding margin, forced 31 turnovers and went 44 of 57 from the foul line as five Knights fouled out and two more had four fouls.

Hayley Harrison scored 19 points for the Knights.