LSU stops Auburn's 3-game win streak

AP Sports WriterFebruary 8, 2014 

BATON ROUGE, La. -- For all the scoring and rebounding Johnny O'Bryant III provides, the LSU power forward's ability to make timely, accurate passes to the perimeter can also cause major problems for defenses.

That is, if LSU guards Anthony Hickey and Andre Stringer are decisive and accurate with their open shooting chances. They were on Saturday, spelling doom for Auburn.

O'Bryant had 19 points and 10 rebounds, Stringer added 18 points and seven assists, and LSU snapped Auburn's three-game winning streak, 87-80. Hickey, meanwhile, hit five of his seven 3-point attempts and had 17 points.

"It was up to us to set out feet, stay locked-in and hit the open shots when the post guys trusted us and kicked the ball out," Stringer said. "We did a great job hitting shots for the most part tonight. It makes it hard to take away the post when you're hitting jumpers."

The news was not all good for LSU (15-7, 6-4 Southeastern Conference), however. Reserve shooting guard Malik Morgan's right knee buckled on a drive in the second half. He had to be helped off the floor, and while coach Johnny Jones refrained from making a hasty prognosis, he said grimly, "It doesn't look good."

LSU trailed by a point at halftime, but twice in the first three minutes of the second half, O'Bryant received the ball inside, then, as double teams converged, whipped the ball to Hickey, who sank open 3s. Stringer also made a pair of 3s.

The result was balanced scoring for LSU, which had five players in double figures while improving to 11-2 at home.

Jordan Mickey had 14 points, 10 rebounds and three blocked shots, and Jarell Martin finished with 11 points and eight rebounds.

Chris Denson (Shaw High) scored 29 points, KT Harrell added 19 and Tahj Shamsid-Deen 16 for Auburn (11-10, 3-7), which was hurt by 6-of-23 shooting from 3-point range and an inability to get to the foul line as much as LSU.

"You can't win with just three guys being productive on the offensive end," Auburn coach Tony Barbee said. "You've got to have more guys contributing, like LSU did."

LSU, which led by as much as 14 in the second half, scored 27 of its points on 38 foul shots, while Auburn was 16 of 23 from the free-throw line.

LSU began to assert control of the game in the second half by drawing fouls and hitting 3s. After attempting only two free throws the entire first half, LSU got to the line 36 times in the second half, hitting 26.

"LSU let us play in the first half. They were blowing that whistle in the second half on both ends," Denson said. "We played hard. We just came up short."

LSU hit four of the first six 3s it attempted in the second half, with Hickey draining three and Stringer another to make it 61-50 with about 10 minutes to play.

AUBURN (11-10)

Payne 0-1 0-0 0, Dixon-Tatum 0-3 3-4 3, Harrell 7-15 4-5 19, Denson 11-23 6-10 29, Shamsid-Deen 6-15 3-4 16, Wade 2-6 0-0 6, Thompson 2-6 0-0 5, Canada 1-3 0-0 2, Granger 0-0 0-0 0, Atewe 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 29-72 16-23 80.

LSU (15-7)

O'Bryant III 6-11 7-9 19, Coleman 1-3 0-0 2, Martin 5-11 1-2 11, Mickey 4-11 6-9 14, Hickey 6-8 0-0 17, Stringer 3-9 10-12 18, Morgan 0-2 1-2 1, Quarterman 1-2 2-4 5. Totals 26-57 27-38 87.

Halftime--Auburn 33-32. 3-Point Goals--Auburn 6-23 (Wade 2-5, Thompson 1-2, Denson 1-4, Shamsid-Deen 1-6, Harrell 1-6), LSU 8-21 (Hickey 5-7, Stringer 2-7, Quarterman 1-2, Coleman 0-2, Martin 0-3). Fouled Out--Dixon-Tatum, Harrell, Shamsid-Deen. Rebounds--Auburn 35 (Dixon-Tatum 7), LSU 46 (Mickey, O'Bryant III 10). Assists--Auburn 6 (Denson, Shamsid-Deen 2), LSU 18 (Stringer 7). Total Fouls--Auburn 27, LSU 17. A--10,588.

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