ATHENS - The University of Georgia basketball team defeated the LSU Tigers by a close 65-63 margin on Tuesday night before 6,991 spectators in Stegeman Coliseum.
Braelen Bridges paced the Bulldogs with 13 points. Jabri Abdur-Rahim added 11 points, and Justin Hill tallied 10 with two steals. Jusaun Holt contributed a team-leading three steals, and Matthew-Alexander Moncrieffe grabbed six boards for the Bulldogs.
"Everyone in the league is very, very difficult, so we will settle for this win of course," Georgia head coach Mike White said. "LSU was terrific. I thought we played really hard down the stretch. Thought we had times there in the first half, for whatever reason, after the first couple minutes where I thought we were really sharp. We struggled to convert, our offensive aggression and confidence level really wavered for the next 37 or 38 for whatever reason, so we have got to figure that out. LSU did a good job of being really heavy in the gaps, on our drives, making us kick. We drew some fouls of course but we didn't do any good converting in the foul line, sometimes that will affect the way you execute offensively. We didn't do a great job of interior passing, we didn't do a very good job on offensive glass, there were a lot of misses and just not great effort there. The last fifteen minutes or so of the game, I thought defensively, we were pretty sharp, pretty locked in, pretty connected and found a way to get some stops. Justin Hill finished with a huge individual play overall."
An Oquendo layup followed by a steal and basket from Holt opened the game before the teams fell into a back-and-forth rhythm. An LSU (12-15, 1-13 SEC) turnover followed by a black by Anselem spurred a 5-0 run for the Bulldogs. Both teams used baskets from behind the arc to keep the score within four points. Back-to-back triples and a Tiger layup gave LSU a 16-12 advantage with 10 minutes remaining in the first half.
The Tigers extended their lead to eight points until Georgia (16-10, 7-7 SEC) used a 6-2 run to cut the deficit to four points. The Bulldogs used baskets from the perimeter to keep LSU at bay, but a pair of Tiger baskets from inside gave them a 28-21 lead with under five minutes left in the half. Five points from Hill concluded the first half as Georgia trailed, 28-26, going into the second half.
Three points from Bridges cut the Tigers' lead to one point to start the second half. Two consecutive layups from the Bulldogs knotted the score at 35 and fueled an 8-0 run to build a 39-35 lead. Both teams took to outside shooting as the score was tied at 39 and again at 44.
A three-pointer from Abdur-Rahim gave Georgia a three-point lead, 50-47, off a 7-1 scoring run with under 10 minutes remaining. The Bulldogs continued to build upon their lead, highlighted by an open-paint layup from Hill and a dunk from Anselem, 59-54. LSU added five points to the board and cut Georgia's lead to one, 62-61, with just over two minutes left In the game.
A turnaround jumper from LSU in the paint gave the Tigers a 63-62 lead with 11 second remaining. The Bulldogs moved the ball down the court and used a layup from Hill to regain a one-point lead with under five seconds in the game. A steal from Hill and a made free throw gave Georgia its final 65-63 advantage.
Georgia hits the road this weekend to face No. 1 Alabama in Tuscaloosa. The game will tip off at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 18 and will be aired on SEC Network.