LSU’s men’s basketball team looked like it was going to bounce back from the loss to Nicholls in tremendous fashion with a win over Dayton for nearly 40 minutes on Thursday afternoon, but a gutsy comeback and last-second go-ahead three gave the Flyers the 70-67 win in the quarterfinal round of the Charleston Classic.
After a tightly contested first half that saw the Tigers take a 32-30 lead to the locker room, they stretched that lead to as much as 15 with under 10 minutes to play in the game. But Dayton went on a 17-2 run to get back in the game, and Nate Santos’ shot in the final seconds proved to be the game-winner as a Carlos Stewart three fell short at the buzzer.
LSU finished the game shooting above 50% as a team, but it wasn’t as efficient down the stretch and had eight second-half turnovers.
Jalen Reed was a bright spot, leading the team with 16 points, while Tyrell Ward scored 12 and Will Baker scored 10. Defensively, LSU held the Flyers under 40% shooting but struggled to contain stars Santos (19 points), Javon Bennett (16) and Koby Brea (13).
It was an excellent opportunity to earn a win over a possible tournament team, but now the 1-2 Tigers will have to look elsewhere to start rebuilding their resume. They will be back in action on Friday morning against North Texas, which lost 53-52 against St. John’s. at 10:30 a.m. CT.
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