LSU 61, South Carolina 52
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP)—Glen Davis scored nine of his 11 points during the final nine minutes to help LSU finish its regular season with a 61-52 victory over South Carolina on Saturday night.
The 6-foot-9, 195-pound Davis, returning from a right quadriceps strain that had sidelined him for three games, started slow but regained his dominant form in the paint while scoring seven points during a decisive 9-0 run that put LSU (16-14, 5-11 Southeastern Conference) in the lead for good.
Tre’ Kelley led South Carolina (14-15, 4-12) with 19 points, the eighth straight game he scored at least that many. He hit a pair of difficult driving layups in traffic and made a pair of free throws during a 13-0 run that gave the Gamecocks a brief 42-41 lead with 10:48 to go.
LSU quickly regained the lead when Tasmin Mitchell found Dameon Mason soaring to the basket for an alley-oop lay-in. Then Davis took over the game, scoring the next seven points on a free throw and three inside baskets, one following his own offensive rebound.
Davis had seven rebounds for the game.
South Carolina, which shot only 32.2 percent, went 8:15 without a point during LSU’s run.
Mitchell scored 21 for the Tigers, who hit 44.9 percent of their shots and head into the SEC tournament having won two of their last three games. Senior Darnell Lazare, playing his last game on the LSU campus, scored 12. He left the game to a prolonged standing ovation with 18 seconds to go.
Davis, a junior who also may have played his last home game at LSU if he decides to enter the NBA draft, didn’t score his first basket until 3:49 remained in the first half. He played well defensively, however, coming up with a pair of steals that led to transition points for the Tigers on Garrett Temple’s breakaway dunk and Mitchell’s free throws.
Mitchell scored 11 of his points in the first half, helping LSU build a lead as large as nine before Dominique Archie’s 3-pointer pulled South Carolina to 33-27 at halftime.