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LSU Pushes Kentucky to the Brink

Feb 28, 2009 – 6:48 PM
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Chas Rich

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LSU had not won a game in Lexington since 1989. They were 4-34 against Kentucky going back to 1952. By any measure, the Tigers have not done well when visiting the Wildcats. This was an absolute must-win for Kentucky in the LSU.

Instead, Marcus Thornton used the second half to demonstrate why he should be under consideration for SEC Player of the Year along with Kentucky's Jodie Meeks. Thornton poured in 19 of his 23 points in the second half to lead the Tigers to a big win that puts Kentucky off the bubble.

No. 18 LSU 73, Kentucky 70: Recap | Box Score | RPI | Scores

Kentucky made a great run in the second half to overcome an eight point halftime deficit and building a ten point lead halfway through. LSU, however, came storming back. The Tigers have more than just Thornton, as big an impact as he is, with Tasmin Mitchell and Bo Spencer providing additional offense inside and out. In the final minutes, LSU just had too many threats for Kentucky to stop.

As has often been the case with Kentucky this year, the lack of any real threat after Meeks and Patrick Patterson killed them. Patterson and Meeks combined for 52 points on 22-for-39 shooting. Meeks, though, was held in check on the perimeter with only 1-for-9 shooting outside. When the game was tight in the final minutes, LSU was able to focus on just stopping Meeks and Patterson.

For LSU this sets them up to be, a top-4 seed in the NCAA Tournament. The only SEC team with a shot at that.

Kentucky is on the brink of elimination from the NCAA Tournament bubble without a deep run in the SEC Tournament. The last chance for Kentucky will come next Saturday at Florida to end the season. Otherwise, the Wildcats run of 14 straight NCAA Tournament appearances will be done.
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