Vanderbilt upsets No. 12 LSU 75-67
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP)—A.J. Ogilvy is as healthy and confident as he’s been all season, and that could spell trouble for the rest of the Southeastern Conference as the postseason nears.
Ogilvy set a career high in scoring for a second straight game Wednesday night, racking up 33 points and grabbing 10 rebounds to help Vanderbilt upset No. 12 LSU 75-67 in the Tigers’ home finale.
“Coach talked all week that we hadn’t had a signature win this season, so it’s good to get that,” Ogilvy said. “We’ve known that we can beat anyone in the SEC, it’s just sometimes we haven’t come with our best game … and I think tonight was an example where we showed if we come and play our best basketball we can beat anyone.”
Ogilvy was hampered earlier this season by a right foot injury and later by a respiratory infection. He’s begun to feel more like himself lately and that was evident last Saturday, when he scored what was then a career-high 28 points in Vandy’s 96-83 victory over South Carolina.
“The biggest part of it is he’s just healthy,” Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings said. “I would like to take the credit and be Joe Genius the coach, but no, he’s just feeling better, our guys are doing a good job of getting him the ball and he’s doing a great job when he gets it.”
Ogilvy, a 6-foot-11 sophomore, scored on an array of short jump hooks, putbacks and even driving layups that frustrated an LSU defense anchored by 6-11 center Chris Johnson, one of the best shot-blockers in college basketball. Johnson had four blocks to bring his season total to 84, but Ogilvy never backed down.
“A.J. plays well against shot-blockers,” Stallings said. “I don’t have an explanation for it because Chris Johnson’s an outstanding player.”
When Ogilvy saw multiple defenders, Jermaine Beal gave the Commodores the balance they needed, hitting three 3-pointers and finishing with 17 points. Brad Tinsley had two 3s late in the game, the last giving Vanderbilt (18-11, 7-8 SEC) a 71-66 lead with 38 seconds to go.
“It didn’t work out the way we wanted it, but I think you have to tip your hat to Vanderbilt,” LSU coach Trent Johnson said. “They dominated us in the paint. … When we made runs, they put us back on our heels.”
Marcus Thornton scored 18 points for the Tigers (25-5, 13-2), the SEC regular season champs who lost for only the second time at home this season in 20 games at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center. Tasmin Mitchell added 16 points for the Tigers and Bo Spencer had 14.
Vanderbilt shot 51 percent against an LSU squad that prides itself on defense and led 50-39 after Beal’s 3-pointer with under 13 minutes to go.
Despite playing several minutes without Johnson, who had to have his right ankle re-taped, LSU slowly began to claw back into the game. Mitchell scored four straight points and Spencer added a 3 to make it 52-46. Thornton’s 3 a few minutes later cut it to 56-54, and Spencer later added another 3, getting a friendly bounce off the front rim, to cut it to 58-57.
After Steve Tchiengang’s free throws, Thornton converted a steal into a fast break layup as he was fouled, tying the game at 60 with 5:51 to play. LSU then went more than 2 minutes without scoring, and Vandy went back up 64-60 on Tinsley’s 3 behind a screen from Ogilvy. Ogilvy’s free throws then made it 66-60.
Mitchell’s free throws pulled LSU to 68-66 with 1:05 to go before Tinsley’s crushing 3 as the shot clock wound down.
Ogilvy got Vandy off to its fast start, scoring nine points in the first 11 minutes. His layup on an explosive baseline drive gave Vanderbilt a surprising 22-8 lead that turned out to be no fluke.
LSU briefly cut its deficit to 24-15 on Mitchell’s jumper, but Ogilvy hit a jump hook in the lane and Beal added his second 3-pointer of the half to put the Commodores up 30-17.
Ogilvy wound up with 14 points in the opening 20 minutes while Beal had 12, capped by his soaring one-handed jam in the final seconds to give Vanderbilt a 37-26 lead.
While Vanderbilt broke the 50 percent mark shooting (27-of-52) for the game, LSU shot 36.5 percent (21-of-58) on what was supposed to be a celebration of the Tigers’ senior class.
“I feel like we came out complacent,” Thornton said. “We went out there thinking they were going to lay down and just give us the game because it was a big night for the seniors. … We’ve just got to go back and rebuild, get back to doing what we were doing. We want to finish the season off strong.”