BOSSIER CITY, La. (AP)Tari Eason scored 21 points, Darius Days added 13 with a career-high 18 rebounds and No. 19 LSU rallied from a 13-point deficit to beat Louisiana Tech 66-57 on Saturday night.
The teams swapped the lead five times with seven ties in the second half. After Tech tied it at 57, Eason’s 3-pointer put the Tigers ahead for good with 2:28 left. His dunk with 33 seconds remaining stretched the lead to seven.
”Obviously, a really great game,” LSU coach Will Wade said. ”I thought Louisiana Tech played tremendously.”
Eason had 14 points in the second half to help the Tigers (11-0) remain one of seven unbeaten teams in the country. The 6-foot-8 sophomore scored 10 straight points down the stretch. It was his ninth double-digit output in 11 games.
”I’ve always said that big-time players step up in big0time moments in big-time games,” Eason said. ”It’s all about being level-headed. Your next play is your best plays.”
Days, a 6-7 senior, went over 1,000 points in his career at LSU.
Louisiana Tech (8-3) had three players reach double figures. Kenneth Lofton Jr. and Amorie Archibald led the Bulldogs with 13 points each, while Exavian Christon scored 11.
The Tigers trailed by 13 early in the first half and 35-27 at halftime. Back-to-back 3-pointers from Days and Brandon Murray cut the Bulldogs lead to 38-37 with 16:56 remaining. LSU took its first lead of the game on Eason’s two free throws at the 16:10 mark of the second half.
”(Louisiana Tech) did a really great job of shrinking the floor in the first half,” Wade said. ”They made our driving angles very, very tough which made things difficult on that end.”
LSU: The Tigers have played four games in northwest Louisiana since 2000, three at the Brookshire’s Grocery Arena in Bossier City. LSU is 3-1 in those four games.
”Tremendous atmosphere,” Wade said. ”(Tech) are a tremendous ballclub. I thought the fans looked pretty evenly split. Maybe we had a few more, but it was just a great atmosphere and a lot of fun.
”I thought it was good for basketball in the state that we come up here and 7,000 people come watch two in-state teams play on a neutral court. I thought it was a great afternoon of basketball, and I’m just excited to get the win.”
LA Tech: The loss to LSU marked the second time this season the Bulldogs have lost to a Top 25 team. They lost 93-64 to No. 14 Alabama in the season opener.
LSU: Faces Lipscomb on Wednesday in Baton Rouge.
LA Tech: Faces Crowleys Ridge College on Wednesday in Ruston.
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