BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Buddy Hield made seven of his
eight 3-pointers in the second half on his way to a 32-point performance,
Isaiah Cousins hit a go-ahead jumper with 4 seconds left and No. 1 Oklahoma
overcame a 14-point deficit to escape with a 77-75 victory over LSU on
Cousins finished with 18 points, and Ryan Spangler had
16 points and 10 rebounds for the Sooners (18-2), who summoned the composure to
rally down the stretch amid a rabid, packed crowd energized by the Tigers'
strong play for much of the game.
LSU didn't go quietly. Antonio Blakeney hit a pair of
late 3s, and the second tied it at 75 with 24 seconds left.
Ben Simmons had 14 points for LSU (13-8), highlighted
by a crowd-pleasing reverse dunk. But those same fans were left frustrated,
some hurling garbage, when Khadeem Lattin blocked Tim Quarterman's driving shot
as time ran out.
Many fans seemed to think Quarterman was fouled. There
was contact, but it could have been tough to tell in real time who initiated it
as the Sooners collapsed defensively into the paint.
Quarterman finished with a team-high 18 points, while
Craig Victor scored 15. Blakeney finished with 11.
Simmons' driving reverse, two-handed dunk, which
whipped the crowd into an arena-shaking frenzy, put LSU ahead 50-38. Soon
after, the Tigers took their largest lead, at 14, when Keith Hornsby's jumper
made it 52-38.
Oklahoma's comeback started with a jumper by Cousins
with 13:41 left, which made it 57-46. That began a 22-8 run that included four
3s by Hield, the fourth calmly drained from the left corner to put Oklahoma up
66-65 with 4:05 remaining.
Hield added yet another clutch 3 from the right wing
just moments after snagging an offensive rebound of Cousins' miss. Cousins got
the ball back on that possession and kicked it out to Hield for a shot that put
Oklahoma up 73-72 with 1:53 left.
The Tigers led nearly the entire first half, when they
shot 55.6 percent (15 of 27), including 7 of 12 from 3-point range. LSU was up
by as many as 13 points when Blakeney and Quarterman hit back-to-back 3s,
making it 36-23.
Jordan Woodard responded with a quick 3 to trim OU's
deficit back to 10. Hield, who had 11 points in the first half, added two free
throws minutes later to pull the Sooners to 41-36 before Aaron Epps' 3 widened
LSU's lead back to 44-36 at halftime.
Oklahoma: Kruger, in his fifth season with the
Sooners, reached his 100th victory with the program. ... Oklahoma has hit at
least 10 3s in 14 games this season, the most in one season in program history.
... Hield has scored at least 20 points in 12 of 14 games.
LSU: Simmons scored at least 10 points for the 19th
time, and with nine rebounds narrowly missed what would have been his 16th
10-rebound game and 16th double-double. ... Simmons had five assists, giving
him 102 so far in his freshman season. ... This marked the 10th visit by a No.
1 team to LSU, which has gone 2-8 in such games. ... Victor, who did not play
until late December because of the timing of his transfer from Arizona, has
scored at least 10 points in 12 of his first 13 games.
Oklahoma: Hosts TCU on Tuesday night.
LSU: Visits Auburn on Tuesday night.
Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights
reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or
Posted on Sat, January 30, 2016
by BRETT MARTEL, AP Sports Writer