Sidelines with John Clay

Liveblog: LSU 73, Kentucky 71

Starting a week in which it plays two Top 20 teams, including the No. 1 team in the nation, fifth-ranked Kentucky takes on No. 19 LSU on Tuesday night at Rupp Arena. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. on ESPN.

We will be live just above Cawood’s Court bringing you updates and analysis on the game between the two teams tied for second in the SEC at 9-1. Top-ranked Tennessee, who visits Rupp on Saturday, leads the conference at 10-0. Follow us on Twitter at @johnclayiv, @jerrytipton, @benrobertshl, @markcstory, @alexslitzphoto and @kentuckysports. Scroll down for dedicated Twitter list.


Officials for tonight’s game are Joe Lindsay, Tony Greene and Patrick Evans. . . . Kentucky has won 10 straight games. . . . LSU has won 12 of its last 13. . . . LSU shot 38.4 percent but outscored Auburn 29-1 on second-chance points to beat the Tigers 83-78 on Saturday. . . . UK is ranked 8th nationally in adjusted defensive efficiency by kenpom. LSU is ranked 52nd. LSU is 16th in adjusted offensive efficiency. Kentucky is 17th. . . . In his last three games, LSU freshman Naz Reid is averaging 20.3 points and 9.7 rebounds while shooting 57 percent from the floor. . . . UK’s PJ Washington has scored 20-or-more points in four of his last five games. . . . LSU has not won at Rupp Arena since Feb. 28, 2009 when the Tigers beat Billy Gillispie’s team 73-70. Since then, the Tigers have lost five straight in Lexington.

Starters: Kentucky is starting Ashton Hagans, Keldon Johnson, Tyler Herro, Reid Travis and PJ Washington. LSU is starting Naz Reid, Tremont Waters, Skylar Mays, Kavell Bigby-Williams and Marlon Taylor.

First half

Kentucky 10, LSU 9 (15:43) - UK point guard Ashton Hagans took an early seat on the bench. Immanuel Quickley subbed in and quickly hit a three-pointer. Keldon Johnson has four early points for the hoe team. LSU has hit a pair of three-pointers. The second, a trey by Marlon Taylor from the left corner, bounced all the way around the rim before falling through. UK has made four of seven shots. LSU is 3-of-6 from the floor. Cats up 4-3 in rebounds.

Kentucky 18, LSU 16 (11:49) - Keldon Johnson with six points and PJ Washignton with five to lead the Cats, who have made six of 14 shots. LSU is six of 11. Rebounding is the early difference. Cats up 9-4 on the glass. Kentucky has three offensive rebounds. LSU is still looking for its first.

Kentucky 29, LSU 22 (7:34) - Reid Travis buried a wide-open three from the top of the key just before the TV timeout. LSU coach Will Wade is not happy. He received a bench warning after complaining that UK’s EJ Montgomery wasn’t called for a walk. Plus, three Tigers have two fouls. Those would be Naz Reid, Darius Days and Emmitt Williams. UK is 9-of-18 from the floor. LSU is 7-of-18.

Kentucky 33, LSU 30 (3:23) - LSU took a 30-29 lead on a three-pointer by Skylar Mays at the 4:44 mark. But then UK’s Johnson scored in the lane and Tyler Herro banked home a basket on a fast break to put the Cats up by three at the TV time. Just as we went to the break, LSU’s Darrius Days picked up his third foul. UK is 11-of-23 from the floor. LSU is just 9-of-23. Kentucky has an 18-11 advantage on the glass.

Halftime: Kentucky 40, LSU 32 - Key was Kentucky had a 23-14 edge on the boards in the first half. PJ Washington had six rebounds. Keldon Johnson, Immanuel Quickley and Reid Travis each with four rebounds. LSU had three offensive rebounds in the first half, compared to 17 defensive boards for the Cats.

Halftime box

Second half

Kentucky 48, LSU 43 (15:19) - Immanuel Quickley started in place of Ashton Hagans to begin second half. Johnson leads Cats with 11 points. PJ Washington has 10. UK has made four of its first six shots to start the half. But LSU scored on six straight possessions to keep it close.

Kentucky 52, LSU 50 (11:31) - LSU cut the lead to 49-48 on an old-fashioned three-point play by junior Skylar Mays, who is studying to be a doctor. Kentucky’s Herro then drained a three-pointer from the right corner. Cats need to get some stops, however. LSU has made seven of 13 shots this half. The Tigers are also 13-of-16 from the foul line. Naz Reid and Darius Days each picked up their fourth fouls of the game during that segment. Will Wade would love to stay close until he can get those two back in the game.

LSU 58, Kentucky 56 (8:08) - The visitors are 17-of-19 from the foul line and up by two, which causes Calipari to call time. He’s not happy with the officials, this half. Kentucky offense just six-of-16 from the floor this half. PJ Washington has 13 points.

LSU 65, Kentucky 62 (3:45) - Naz Reid just hit one of his set-shot threes from the left wing for a three-point Tigers lead. Reid was wide, wide open, by the way. LSU coach Will Wade calls time with 3:45 left. This one is going to the wire.

LSU 69, Kentucky 67 (1:25) - Reid scored on a rebound basket, with ball kept alive by Smart. That made it 69-64 LSU. Then Washignton scored while being fouled, and hit free throw to cut lead to 69-67. Reid missed a three, UK rebounded and called time with 1:25 left.

LSU 69, Kentucky 69 (1:03) - Washington ties it with hook shot in the lane. LSU calls time. Washington now with 20 points for fifth time in six games.

LSU 71, Kentucky 69 (:08.1) - Waters makes two free throws with 20.5 left to put Tigers up two. UK is fouled with 8.1 left and Calipari calls time.

Final: LSU 73, Kentucky 71 - After Johnson made two free throws, LSU’s Mays drove length of the floor, missed, but Kenvall Biby-Williams tipped it in. Looked like offensive goal tend, but after review -- clock, not shot? -- officials ruled game over.

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John Clay is a sports columnist for the Lexington Herald-Leader. A native of Central Kentucky, he covered UK football from 1987 until being named sports columnist in 2000. He has covered 20 Final Fours and 37 consecutive Kentucky Derbys.
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