LEXINGTON, Ky. — Forward Julius Randle’s put-back with 3.9 seconds left in overtime pushed the No. 18 Kentucky Wildcats past the LSU Tigers 77-76 at Rupp Arena on Saturday.
Randle only scored eight points, less than half of his season average, but his 15 rebounds came up big for the Wildcats. Kentucky had the last shot in overtime down 76-75, and forward James Young drove to the basket. His shot missed through contact, and no foul was called.
Randle grabbed his seventh offensive rebound of the game and went straight back up with it, giving Kentucky the late lead. LSU had about four seconds left, but it turned the ball over at half-court and did not get a final shot.
LSU guard Anthony Hickey hit a 28-footer with 1:46 left in regulation give the Tigers a 64-63 lead. Shooting guard Andre Stringer hit 1 of 2 free throws with 20 seconds left, leaving room for Kentucky to tie the game or win with the last shot.
Point guard Andrew Harrison drove in to the lane and was fouled with 10.9 seconds to play. He made both
LSU forward Johnny O’Bryant picked up where he left off the last time he played Kentucky. He scored the first six points of the game, including two pull-up jumpers from inside the three-point line. His 19-footer from the top of the key gave LSU a 6-0 lead with 17:38 to play, and Kentucky coach John Calipari immediately called a timeout.
O’Bryant, who had 29 points in the Tigers’ 87-82 win over Kentucky on Jan. 28, finished with 20 on Saturday.
Out of the timeout, the Wildcats were instantly healed on both sides of the court. They scored 13 straight points, holding the Tigers without a field goal for the next six minutes.
The Wildcats built a first-half lead as large as eight points, but LSU recovered well after their six-minute drought. Tigers point guard Anthony Hickey — who didn’t his scholarship offer to LSU until after he dominated the Kentucky high school basketball state tournament on the same Rupp Arena floor in 2011–hit a pair of threes, and his crisp passing helped wake up a dormant LSU offense.
NOTES: Kentucky is now 8-1 in five seasons under John Calipari in rematch games after losing to a team earlier in a season. … The game featured two of the last three Kentucky high school state basketball tournament MVPs. LSU point guard Anthony Hickey won the award in 2011, and Kentucky reserve guard Dominique Hawkins won it in 2013. … LSU has now lost six straight road games.
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