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LSU Wins Big Over Washington State

BATON ROUGE ? LSU won its 13th consecutive home game dating back to last year, rallying from seven down with nine minutes to play to score an impressive 64-52 win over Washington State Saturday afternoon at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.

The Tigers finished the game on an 11-0 run to move its record to 10-1 on the year while Washington State fell to 8-4. LSU?s 13 game winning streak, dating back to the final three games of last season, is tied for the seventh longest in the 38 years of the Maravich Center.

The battle of teams that were nationally-ranked in different defense categories lived up to its billing, but LSU found the hot hands in the second half and fed off the play of its three guards: Marcus Thornton, Bo Spencer and Garrett Temple. Bo Spencer scored 19 points, Marcus Thornton had 18, hitting four treys, and Temple 13 with six steals.

Washington State got 14 from Taylor Rochestie, 12 from Klay Thompson and 10 from Caleb Forrest.

Neither team was getting through the defense in the early going with the game tied at just 6-6 after 10 minutes. LSU had the halftime advantage at 25-23.

But Washington State began to assert its offensive side, taking the lead at the 13:30 mark on an Aron Baynes jumper and scored nine straight points to take a 41-33 lead with 11:33 to go in the game. The lead reach seven at 45-38 and 47-40 with 9:14 to go at Thompson made four consecutive free throws for the Cougars.

The Tigers run back in to the lead started with LSU down 49-44 with 7:07 to play. Temple hit a three to cut it to two at the 6:09 mark and them Thornton answered with his own trey with 5:49 to play that gave LSU the lead for good at 50-49. Temple made a free throw at 51-49 and the teams traded points with Washington State scoring its final points on a Baynes jumper to make LSU?s lead 53-52 with 3:17 to play.

LSU failed to score twice but Washington State turned it back to LSU. Quinton Thornton made a free throw to extend it to 54-52 and after another Washington State turnover, Marcus Thornton put his stamp on the game with a sideline three-pointer as he was being knocked almost into the press table with 1:50 left to make it 57-52.

The Cougars turned it over again and Bo Spencer got a layup and a free throw to advance it to 60-52 and LSU made four free throws in the final minute for the final margin.

In the last 3:17, Washington State turned it over six times to LSU who finished with 22 points off 18 Washington State turnovers.

LSU returned to its free throw shooting form, hitting 13-of-15 for the game and while only hitting 21-of-54 for the game from the field (38.9%), including 13-of-26 in the second half, the Tigers were 9-of-20 from the arc (45 percent) including 6-of-9 in the second half. Washington State shot 43.8 percent for the game and was the second team to out rebound the Tigers, 33-28.

?That was a good win,? Coach Trent Johnson, who is now 9-4 against Washington State, said. ?The game was in the balance with Garrett Temple on the floor, Chris Bass, Storm Warren, Quintin (Thornton) and Alex (Farrer). I think I?m getting spoiled in the leadership that I expect when we made a play offensively that we needed to have. That was a huge time. Bo (Spencer) was frustrated, Tasmin (Mitchell) was in foul trouble. I?m not someone who is very sympathetic to injury, but (Marcus Thornton) has a serious problem with his toe. We beat a good team and I?m happy for them because they worked so hard. They worked so hard and the thing I like about games like this is that there wasn?t one time where we came out of a timeout that we weren?t engaged, weren?t listening and weren?t ready to execute. We came out of timeouts down the stretch with calls for certain guys and Marcus comes off to execute, Quintin executes a screen and Garrett (Temple) comes off executing. We are getting better. We are getting better and I?m just happy for them because they are happy.?

The Tigers come back and play Louisiana-Lafayette in a New Year?s Eve afternoon game, Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. The game will be televised regionally on CST.