National Basketball Association
Louisiana State 83, Auburn 78
When: 2:00 PM ET, Saturday, February 9, 2019
Where: Maravich Assembly Center, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Officials: # Doug Shows, # Todd Austin, # Garrick Shannon
Attendance: 12004

Sophomore point guard Tremont Waters scored 19 points, including four 3-pointers and a pair of free throws with a half-second left, and backcourt mate Skylar Mays added a team-high 20 points as No. 21 LSU escaped with an 83-78 victory over visiting Auburn on Saturday.

LSU (19-4, 9-1 SEC) wiped out a 26-10 first-half deficit with another impressive performance on the offensive boards, but the Tigers nearly saw their 10-point lead with 2:39 left evaporate.

Waters, who had a game-high 10 assists, and Mays each made a pair of free throws inside the final 30 seconds to seal the victory.

LSU outrebounded Auburn 22-7 on the offensive glass, leading to an overwhelming 29-1 edge in second-chance points. LSU also forced 19 Auburn turnovers.

LSU will take on No. 5 Kentucky (20-3, 9-1 SEC) in Rupp Arena on Tuesday night.

Auburn (16-7, 5-5 SEC) was paced by guard Jared Harper with a game-high 25 points. Harper's 3-pointer from the right wing with 30.8 seconds left cut the deficit to 79-76, and Auburn forced an inbounds violation and got a layup from Chuma Okeke with 26.4 seconds left to draw within 79-78.

But Auburn failed to connect on two 3-point chances in the final seconds.

Waters made three 3-pointers in the first four minutes of the second half, part of a 15-5 run that gave LSU a 53-46 lead with 14:07 left. After being warned for leaving the bench area, Auburn coach Bruce Pearl was given a second violation, which led to a free throw and then a 3-pointer by Darius Days, which put LSU up 59-51.

Despite leading 41-38 at halftime, Auburn had to be disappointed that its margin wasn't bigger because it connected on 11 of 16 from 3-point range while holding LSU to just three 3-pointers in the half. Harper led the long-range barrage by making 4-of-5 3-pointers in the half.

Auburn made eight 3-pointers in the first nine minutes to take a 26-10 advantage, but LSU crawled back by pounding the ball inside and dominating the smaller Auburn frontcourt on the offensive glass, 10-2, which led to an 11-0 edge in second-chance points. Nine of Auburn's first 10 baskets were 3-pointers.

LSU went on a 16-3 run, capped by Mays' layup and 3-pointer and a dunk by Emmitt Williams off an inbounds pass, to close within 29-26.

Auburn outshot LSU 54 percent to 35 percent in the half, but Waters' 3-pointer at the buzzer drew LSU within three. LSU also had 11 first-half turnovers against Auburn, with three coming on steals by Waters, who also had seven points and eight assists in the half.

--Field Level Media

Top Game Performances
Auburn   Louisiana State
Jared Harper 25 Scoring Skylar Mays 20
Jared Harper 8 Assists Tremont Waters 10
Chuma Okeke 14 Rebounds Naz Reid 11
Jared Harper 6 Free Throws Made Skylar Mays 8
Samir Doughty 3 Steals Tremont Waters 5
Horace Spencer 2 Blocks Naz Reid 1
Team Stats Summary
Team Points FG% 3PM-3PA FTM-FTA Assists Rebounds Blocks Steals Turnovers
Auburn 78 48.2 16-38 8-13 13 33 4 7 19
Louisiana State 83 38.4 9-28 18-26 15 44 1 12 11