Joe Jackson scored eight points in the final four minutes to lift Memphis to a 76-69 victory against LSU in a semifinal game of the Old Spice Classic at the HP Field House in Orlando (Fla.) on Friday evening.
Anthony Hickey's basket tied the score at 64-64 with 4:03 remaining in the game. However, LSU made just one field goal the rest of the way - a 3-pointer by Hickey after Memphis had built a six-point lead. Memphis outscored LSU 8-2 over a three-minute stretch to move ahead 72-66. The only LSU points during that time came on two free throws by Shavon Coleman. Hickey missed a 3-point shot, while Johnny O'Bryant made two turnovers and Jordan Mickey made one turnover. Jackson made two field goals to put Memphis ahead 68-64. After Coleman's two foul shots, Austin Nichols made a basket and Jackson sank two free throws.
KEY PERIOD IN FIRST HALF
A 3-pointer by Memphis' Chris Crawford tied the score at 30-30 with 3:23 remaining in the first half. LSU scored eight consecutive points to take its biggest lead of the half at 38-30. Hickey made two baskets, one being a 3-pointer, and Jarell Martin made a three-point play. Memphis scored the last four points of the half to cut LSU's lead to four points at 38-34.
KEY PERIOD IN SECOND HALF
LSU maintained a comfortable advantage for the first eight minutes of the second half. A field goal by Malik Morgan put LSU on top 57-49 heading into the under-12 minute media timeout. But, Memphis went on an 11-2 run to retake the lead. During that span, LSU committed three turnovers - one each by Coleman, Tim Quarterman and O'Bryant. Hickey missed a 3-point shot. The only LSU basket during that time came from O'Bryant. Nichols sank two free throws and made a field goal for Memphis. A field goal by Crawford gave Memphis a 60-59 lead with 9:31 left in the game.
LSU'S TOP STARTER
Hickey kept LSU in the game by scoring a season-high 20 points. Hickey was 8-of-19 from the field. However, he missed 10 of his 14 3-point shots. Hickey's four treys were a season high. Hickey had season-lows in both assists and steals - one each.
LSU'S TOP RESERVE
Coleman seems to be settling into the sixth-man role. Coleman played just 13 minutes, but he contributed eight points, three rebounds and one steal. Coleman was 3-of-6 from the field.
LSU'S UNSUNG HERO
There was no double-double for Mickey, but he was an influence with ten points and six rebounds. Mickey made five of his six field goal attempts. He also blocked four shots to give him 23 in six games this season.
One number was responsible for LSU's defeat - 24 turnovers. Those miscues resulted in 33 of Memphis' 76 points. On the other hand, Memphis was guilty of just ten turnovers which led to ten LSU points. O'Bryant committed ten of LSU's 24 turnovers. Mickey had four miscues, while Quarterman had three. LSU shot only nine foul shots, making four. O'Bryant missed all three of his free throws. Memphis was 15-of-19 at the free throw line.
LSU used its regular starting lineup - O'Bryant, Martin, Mickey, Hickey and Stringer. . .O'Bryant and Stringer had tough evenings. O'Bryant had 14 points and nine rebounds, but he missed all three of his foul shots and committed ten turnovers. Stringer got off only five shots, making one. He was 0-for-3 on 3-pointers. Stringer had scored no less than 12 points in any of LSU's first five games. . .Martin wasn't much of a factor with seven points and four rebounds in 31 minutes. . .Morgan was the only reserve other than Coleman to play more than six minutes. Morgan had five points and two rebounds in 12 minutes. . .LSU made a season-best 57 percent of its field goal attempts (30-of-53) while losing. But, LSU missed 15 of its 20 3-point attempts. . .Jackson was the key performer for Memphis with 16 points, seven assists and four steals. Nichols had 19 points and eight rebounds, while Crawford accounted for 17 points. . .LSU outrebounded Memphis 37-25. . .LSU now has a 2-4 all-time record against Memphis. LSU is 4-2, while Memphis is 4-1. Memphis will play Oklahoma State in the championship game of the tournament Sunday night.
FROM THE LOCKERROOM
Coach Johnny Jones
"It was a hard-fought basketball game. Unfortunately, we didn't make great decisions down the stretch. We played extremely hard. We came down here hopeful of playing in the finals for a championship. We allowed that situation to slip away."
LSU will play Butler on Sunday in the third-place game of the Old Spice Classic in Orlando (Fla.). Tipoff is 1 p.m. Butler (5-1) lost to Oklahoma State 69-67 in a semifinal game Friday. The game will be televised on ESPNU.