No. 5 Kentucky’s 10-game winning streak has been snapped. Its 13-0 home record has been blemished.
And the SEC men’s basketball picture just got shaken up by the No. 19 LSU Tigers.
Will Wade’s purple and gold side went into Lexington’s Rupp Arena on Tuesday and escaped with a 73-71 triumph, upsetting John Calipari’s Wildcats. The Tigers won the game at the buzzer, when senior LSU forward Kavell Bigby-Williams tipped in a missed shot for the go-ahead bucket.
LSU DOWNS KENTUCKY AT THE BUZZER IN RUPP 🚨pic.twitter.com/oLgbwk031G— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) February 13, 2019
LSU’s win over Kentucky marked just the sixth time the Tigers have won in 50 trips to Rupp Arena. LSU hadn’t won there in a decade, last taking a victory in Lexington in 2009, when Tasmin Mitchell — who is currently LSU’s Director of Student-Athlete Development — hit the game-winner, clinching the SEC regular season title for the Tigers.
It’s been even longer since the Tigers have beaten a ranked Wildcats team on the road. According to ESPN Stats and Info, the last time LSU beat a ranked Kentucky on the road was Jan. 28, 1980.
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Second half shake-up
Kentucky had a solid lead in this game against LSU, holding a nine-point advantage early in the second half. But LSU clawed and fought its way back into the game and took its first lead of the second half on an Emmitt Wiliams lay-up with about eight minutes to play. In the second half, LSU won the rebounding battle 18-16, outshot Kentucky at the free throw line 10-6, had the advantage in blocks 2-0, and LSU’s bench outscored Kentucky’s 12-2.
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Team-effort from LSU
This win by the Tigers wasn’t orchestrated by just one player. Four different Tigers scored in double-digits, four different players had at least four rebounds and five different players made a three-pointer. Sophomore Tremont Waters led the way with 15 points, five assists, three steals and a rebound.
With the win, LSU takes sole possession of second place in the SEC standings. The Tigers have a 10-1 conference record, trailing just No. 1 Tennessee in the table. The Vols are a perfect 10-0 in SEC play, but things could get really interesting if they slip up on Saturday, when they play at Rupp Arena against a Kentucky team now hungry to bounce back.
LSU’s good fortunes on the road continued in this game as they are now 6-0 in SEC games away from Baton Rouge this season. They’ll need that magic to continue on Saturday, as they face Tom Crean’s Georgia Bulldogs in Athens.
Mitchell Northam is a graduate of Salisbury University. His work has been featured at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Orlando Sentinel, SB Nation, FanSided, USA Today and the Delmarva Daily Times. He grew up on Maryland's Eastern Shore and is now based in Durham, N.C.