December 29, 2019 / 9:05 PM / 21 days ago

LSU hands Liberty first loss of season

Darius Days scored 14 points and host LSU handed Liberty its first loss of the season, 74-57 in a nonconference game Sunday afternoon in Baton Rouge, La.

Skylar Mays and Charles Manning Jr. added 12 points each, and Javonte Smart scored 11 for the Tigers (8-4), who were playing their final game before beginning SEC play on Saturday at Tennessee.

Darius McGhee and Scottie James scored 12 each, Georgie Pacheco-Ortiz added 11 and Caleb Homesley had 10 for the Flames (14-1), who entered the game as one of three unbeaten teams in the country along with Auburn and San Diego State.

Liberty was No. 2 in the country in scoring defense, but LSU easily surpassed the Flames’ defensive average of 51.6 points per game.

It was the fifth of seven consecutive games away from home for Liberty.

The Tigers ended a two-game losing streak after a 70-68 loss at USC, which was their third loss this season by two points.

Liberty cut LSU’s six-point halftime lead to two points early in the second half, but couldn’t pull even.

Mays made a layup that pushed the lead to 46-37, then he made another to increase the margin to double figures for the first time as 50-39.

Emmitt Williams’ dunk completed a 9-0 run and gave the Tigers a 55-39 lead midway through the second half.

Homesley converted a three-point play and James made a jumper as the Flames got within 57-49 with 7:00 remaining.

Days and Mays each converted a three-point play as LSU increased the lead to 67-51 with 4:06 remaining.

There were nine lead changes and four ties before LSU held the lead for the final 2:57 of the first half.

Trendon Watford’s jumper produced the final lead change of the half and put the Tigers on top 25-24. He and Manning had consecutive baskets as LSU increased its lead to five points.

A 3-pointer by Watford completed the first-half scoring and gave the Tigers a 32-26 halftime lead.

—Field Level Media

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