Sam Merrill scored 24 points, including a game-winning 3-pointer in the final minute as No. 15 Utah State rallied from a 19-point deficit to defeat LSU 80-78 in the Jamaica Classic on Friday night in Montego Bay.
Alphonso Anderson matched Merrill’s 24 points, Justin Bean had 14 points, 12 rebounds and six assists and Diogo Brito came off the bench to score 12 for the Aggies (6-0).
Skylar Mays scored 30 points and Darius Days and Emmitt Williams scored 14 each for the Tigers (3-2).
Williams scored LSU’s first five points of the second half as the Tigers extended their 14-point halftime lead to 54-35.
Baskets by Anderson started and completed a 15-6 run that pulled the Aggies within 60-50.
Brito scored five straight points and Utah State got within 62-57 midway through the half.
Mays scored five points during a 7-0 run that gave LSU a 69-57 lead.
The Aggies went on a 14-2 run to pull even before Mays hit a 3-pointer with 3:54 left.
Anderson tied it with a 3-pointer and Bean followed with a three-point play that gave Utah State a 77-74 lead with three minutes left.
Mays scored four straight points to put the Tigers back on top before Merrill’s 3-pointer completed the scoring with 57 seconds left.
LSU had two more possessions, but Mays missed a shot on the first and turned the ball over on the second when Abel Porter made a steal with six seconds left.
Javonte Smart and Mays both made a 3-pointer to start the scoring and the Tigers opened a 10-2 lead.
Utah State got its offense started as Brito made a 3-pointer, a layup and a dunk to close within 14-11.
Smart, Days, Williams and Mays all made a 3-pointer as the Tigers expanded the lead to 28-13.
The Aggies cut the deficit to 30-21 when Anderson made a 3-pointer, but LSU built the lead to 17.
Anderson’s layup finished the first-half scoring and cut the Tigers lead to 44-30 at halftime.
—Field Level Media