BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Anthony Hickey scored 14 points and LSU hung on for its third-straight victory, 57-56 over Vanderbilt on Wednesday night.
Johnny O’Bryant III added 10 points for the Tigers (13-7, 4-5), who led by as many as 12 early in the second half before Vanderbilt (8-13, 2-7) pulled as close as 55-53 on Rod Odom’s 3-pointer with 10 seconds left.
O’Bryant then made a pair of critical free throws for a four-point cushion which rendered Odom’s 3 in the final seconds meaningless.
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Odom finished with a game-high 20 points. Dai-Jon Parker added 11 points and nine rebounds for Vanderbilt, which has lost four straight.
LSU, which has now won four of five, exploded for an 18-2 run that gave the Tigers a 31-18 halftime lead.
Both teams shot poorly in what was a sloppy first 15 minutes, and Vanderbilt went ahead 16-13 on Kyle Fuller’s layup.
Soon after, however, Malik Morgan’s jumper ignited the game-changing run to close the first half. The spurt included a dunk by Andrew Del Piero that energized the crowd and three 3s by Hickey, the last coming at the halftime horn.
Even after its offense picked up, LSU still finished the night shooting 36 percent (18 of 50). Vanderbilt was even worse, at 31.5 percent (17 of 54). Only four players scored in double digits between the two teams, though LSU’s Morgan and Charles Carmouche each had nine.
The Tigers took their largest lead on Andre Stringer’s free throw that made it 35-23.
Sheldon Jeter’s layup and Parker’s 3 ignited an 8-0 Vanderbilt run, but LSU was back up by 11 when Stringer hit a 3 with 8:38 to go.
LSU led 54-47 with under a minute to go, but Odom hit a 3, Stringer missed one of two free throws on the other end and then Odom made his second 3 to make it a one possession game in the final seconds.