Vanderbilt looked solid for 40 minutes, but this young team couldn't get over the hump when it came to overtime, falling to LSU 79-75. The Commodores ran out of gas, allowing an often-discombobulated Tiger team to make the plays necessary to notch a road win in conference play.
Damian Jones put together some clips for his highlight reel with 13 points, seven of which came in the final 10:25. Wade Baldwin IV had a career high 18 points while Luke Kornet added 22 from the bench. Jordan Mickey had 25 points and 11 rebounds for LSU while his frontcourt mate Jarell Martin nearly pulled off the gentleman's triple-double with 19 points, 14 rebounds, and eight turnovers.
Vanderbilt started the game with an unorthodox lineup, starting two centers - Josh Henderson and Damian Jones - to counteract LSU's wealth of big men up front. However, it was a freshman guard and the power forward they left on the bench that carried the 'Dores to a halftime lead. Wade Baldwin IV went 3-3 from three-point range to score nine first half points and seven-footer Luke Kornet led all scorers with 16 of his own to put Vandy up 35-30 at the break.
Baldwin IV did anything but cool off at halftime. He came out punching, scoring nine straight points to put Vandy up 44-36. However, the Commodore defense couldn't keep up. LSU came roaring back behind a six+ minute streak during which they failed to miss a shot to pull within a point and keep the Nashville crowd on their toes. The 'Dores stretched their lead to six points with 10 minutes to play, but a missed dunk from Jeff Roberson recharged the Tigers and gave them the space to tie it back up at 59-all with eight minutes to play.
Vandy retook the lead, but LSU never let them build momentum thanks to the stout inside play of Jordan Mickey and tied the game at 69-all with a minute left in the game. Jones committed an offensive foul on the 'Dores first possession, but the Tigers failed to respond when Tim Quarterman put up an off-balance shot with 8.5 seconds remaining. A contested three-pointer from Riley LaChance missed the mark and sent this game into overtime.
LaChance got a measure of revenge in the extra frame when he scored four straight points to tie it at 73-73, but he was the only Commodore with any spring left in his step. A tired Vandy team couldn't counterpunch with a recharged LSU offense. The 'Dores had a chance to tie the game or take the lead when Tim Quarterman missed a pair of free throws that would have given the visitors a four-point lead, but Vandy failed to capitalize, leading to the Louisiana State win.
Vanderbilt lost their fifth straight game and fell to 11-8 and 1-5 in the SEC. LSU improved to 15-4 and 4-2 in conference play. The Commodores will return to the court on Tuesday when they travel to Athens to face the Georgia Bulldogs.