MILWAUKEE, Wisc. - The LSU men's basketball team fought hard to erase a 21-point first half deficit and took a brief lead with nine minutes remaining in the second half, but Marquette rallied back to emerge with an 84-80 win Saturday at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.
LSU (7-2) was sparked by Andre Stringer, who ripped off a season-high for the second straight game. He tallied 12 of his game-leading 20 points during the second half. The junior guard buried a career-high six three-pointers and has registered double figures in five of his last six outings.
Charles Carmouche added 15 points, his highest scoring output since the Northwestern State game on November 20. He also handed out a career-high 10 assists to pick up his first career double-double. The last time a LSU player collected double digit assists was Torris Bright versus McNeese State on December 7, 2002.
Anthony Hickey tacked on 18 points, matched a career-high seven rebounds and handed out three assists. Johnny O'Bryant III and Shavon Coleman chipped in 14 and 11 points, respectively, to give the Tigers five players in double figures.
The Golden Eagles (8-3), who were receiving votes in the latest edition of the AP Top 25 poll, connected on seven of their first 10 field goals attempts and raced out to a 17-3 edge fueled by a run of 15 straight points during the game's opening minutes.
Marquette went ahead by as many 21 points, 43-22 at the 5:12 mark, before LSU ripped off 11 of last 13 points of the stanza to claw back within 45-33 at halftime.
The Tigers continued their strong play on both ends of the floor out of the intermission. Hickey and Stringer banged home consecutive triples to complete a 27-6 run and knotted the score at 49-49 with 14:56 to go in the second half. Hickey provided 11 of his 18 points during the spurt.
During the 10-minute span to end the first half and to start the second half, LSU knocked down 11-of-17 from the field. Conversely, the Tigers were solid on the defensive end and limited Marquette to only two field goals.
The two teams would trade a quartet of runs over the final 15 minutes of the contest. After the Golden Eagles went back ahead by a 57-49 margin, LSU was ignited by consecutive Stringer three-pointers coupled with a Coleman lay-up and a Carmouche free throw to grab a 58-57 lead with 9:35 left on the clock. It was the Tigers first lead since the game's opening minute.
After starting the game 3-of-17 from three-point territory, Marquette canned back-to-back treys on opposite baselines 43 seconds apart. The Golden Eagles capped their nine-point flurry and took a 66-58 advantage on a Junior Cadougan jumper in transition at the 7:51 mark.
Down 74-62 with 3:33 remaining, LSU mounted one final rally. O'Bryant III slammed down two dunks and Carmouche sank a pair of free throws to make it a one-possession game at 78-76 with 40 seconds to go.
Marquette broke LSU's full court press on the next possession, and Davante Gardner was fouled by Hickey on a lay-up attempt. He calmly hit both of his free throws, and the Golden Eagles forced the Tigers into a turnover on the next possession.
Gardner would make all six of his free throws attempts over the final 35 seconds which enabled Marquette to escape with the 84-80 win and its 15th straight home victory. As a team, the Golden Eagles were an astounding 24-for-25 clip at the charity stripe.
LSU totaled a 42.6 shooting effort (29-of-68) and matched a season-high with 10 made three-pointers. The Tigers also was a season's best 12-for-13 at the foul line. Marquette countered with a 49.1 field goal clip (27-of-55).
Gardner notched 19 points off the bench to pace the Golden Eagles. Vander Blue and Cadougan came away with 17 points each, while Jamil Wilson scored 11 for Marquette.
After the holiday break, LSU returns to action Friday versus Houston Baptist inside the friendly confines of the Maravich Center. Tip time is scheduled for 7 p.m. CT, and the game will be carried live by Cox Sports Television. Tickets can be purchased online at LSUtix.net or by calling the LSU Athletics Ticket Office at (225) 578-2184.
The LSU Sports Radio Network also will broadcast the game on Eagle 98.1 FM in the Baton Rouge area and inside the Geaux Zone at LSUsports.net/live. Jim Hawthorne, Ricky Blanton and Kevin Ford will call the action.
For all of the latest news and information on Tiger basketball, visit www.lsusports.net/basketball. Fans can also follow the program on its social media outlets at www.Facebook.com/lsubasketball along with @lsubasketball on Twitter.