Senior Brian Bridgewater off the bench had nine points to help spark LSU against Georgia
Kyle Zedaker

Late Free Throws Doom LSU at UGA

Kent Lowe (@LSUkent)
Kent Lowe (@LSUkent)
Communications Sr. Associate

ATHENS, Ga. – J. J. Frazier made two free throws with less than two seconds to play Saturday night at Stegeman Coliseum to help push the Georgia Bulldogs past the LSU Tigers, 82-80.

The Bulldogs were given the two shots after a whistle for an LSU foul with 1.6 seconds to play sent Frazier to the foul line. He made both free throws to give the Bulldogs an 81-80 lead.

LSU attempted a long throw-in down court, but the pass was intercepted. Derek Ogbeide took the pass and appeared to begin walking up court as the clock ran out as no whistle was apparently heard by much of the crowd or picked up to stop the clock. Officials ruled there was a foul on LSU on the play and after video review put 1.2 seconds back up.

Ogbeide made the first, missed the second and Brandon Sampson’s three-quarter court heave hit the top of the backboard and fell away.

The finish saved the Bulldogs after losing a 17-point first-half advantage and a 13-point advantage three minutes into the second half.

LSU put on one of its scrappiest efforts of the SEC season and didn’t falter in the second half as had occurred on a few occasions.

The Tigers had finally broken through to tie the game at 69-69 on free throws by Antonio Blakeney and after Georgia built the margin back to six, 77-71, with 4:31 to play Wayde Sims hit a corner three to cut the lead in half.

Georgia missed on the other end and Mays dribbled in for a layup to make it 77-76 with 3:43 to play. The Bulldogs would miss two three pointers and then turn the ball over on an illegal screen, giving LSU back the ball with 2:31 to go.

Sampson and Frazier traded misses before Blakeney missed a three, but Sims was there to tip the ball in to give LSU a 78-77 advantage with 1:25 left. Frazier missed again on the other end as his shot was blocked by Sims. The Tigers had the ball and Blakeney got a running jumper inside the arc to go and the LSU lead was three, 80-77, with just 52 seconds to play.

Ogbeide was able to get the ball inside for Georgia and scored to make it 80-79 inside 44 seconds. After Georgia’s final time out, the Bulldogs elected to play it out and Blakeney got a shot up for three that wouldn’t stay down. Duop Reath got the rebound and missed a tip-in. Sims then got the rebound and missed a tip and the ball would eventually go out-of-bounds to Georgia with 6.9 seconds to play.

Georgia got the ball to Frazier on the inbounds who drove to set up the call that doomed the Tigers in the final seconds.

Blakeney led LSU 20 points, his sixth consecutive game of 20 points or more and that is the first time an LSU player has had six consecutive 20-point games since Marcus Thornton did in during the 2007-08 season. Sampson had a little bit of everything on the stat line with 15 points, six boards and six assists. Skylar Mays also had 15 points for the Tigers. Senior Brian Bridgewater had a strong night off the bench in 17 minutes, contributing nine points on 3-of-4 shooting from the field and 3-of-3 from the free throw line.

Georgia was led by Frazier who finished with 29 points, including 10-of-11 at the free throw line. Ogbeide and Juwan Parker each had 12 points for the Bulldogs. Frazier also had eight assists.

LSU made 28-of-60 field goals, shooting 46.7 percent (14-of-30) in both halves. The Tigers were 7-of-19 from the arc (36.8%) and had a nice night, 17-of-20, at the free throw line.

Georgia shot 50 percent for the game (27-of-54) and 8-of-19 from the arc. The Bulldogs were 20-of-25 from the charity stripe for the game.

Both teams had 14 assists and 10 turnovers with LSU out rebounding the Bulldogs, 34-29. The Tigers had a 14-6 advantage in second chance points.

In the first half, after trailing 9-7 in the early running, the Bulldogs used a 26-7 run over the next six minutes to take early control of the game with a 17-point cushion at the 8:15 mark of the first (33-16), capped by back-to-back treys from freshman Tyree Crump.

LSU would close the half on a 21-11 run to cut the margin to seven, 44-37, at the intermission.

Blakeney opened the second half scoring with a three-pointer that cut the Georgia margin to 44-40, but Georgia had an 11-2 run to push the game back to 13, 55-42, with 16:54 to play. From there LSU was able to begin to impose its will and decision making on the game, cutting it for the first time back to one, 58-57 with 12:22 to play on a three-point play by Jalyn Patterson.

Georgia’s lead would be no more than six the rest of the game setting up the final LSU run and the decisive Georgie free throws.

The Tigers will be at home for the final home contest of the 2016-17 season on Wednesday night at 6 p.m. against Tennessee. Senior Tribute ceremonies for Brian Bridgewater and Brandon Eddlestone are scheduled to begin at 5:45 p.m. The game will be broadcast on the affiliates of the LSU Sports Radio Network and televised on the SEC Network Alternate Channel as two games are scheduled that night at that time on the Network.

Follow updates on LSU Basketball at www.Facebook.com/LSUBasketball and on Twitter @LSUBasketball.

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