Kent Lowe (@LSUkent)
Communications Sr. Associate
ORLANDO, Florida – Mfiondu Kabengele three-pointer from the baseline hit the side of the rim, bounced straight up, hit again and fell through with 0.5 seconds left in overtime to give No. 14 Florida State a win over No. 19 LSU, 79-76, Friday afternoon in the semifinals of the AdvoCare Invitational at the HP Field House at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
The three-pointer put the caps on a rally that saw the Seminoles overcome a valiant performance by LSU as the Tigers had built a nine-point advantage with 3:05 to play in regulation. But FSU (5-0) outscored LSU (5-1), 12-3, the rest of regulation and tied the game at 68-68 with two seconds left on a layup by Forrest Trent.
The run actually reached 17-3 as Florida State scored on its first two possessions in the five extra minutes. Kabengele put in an offensive rebound, a spot that haunted LSU the entire game, to go up 70-68 and after a turnover by LSU, MJ Walker hit a trey to put Florida State up, 73-68, 38 seconds into the session.
Then Florida State missed five shots in a minute and 49 seconds and the Seminoles got the offensive rebound every time to start the possession over again. But Anthony Polite traveled to give the Tigers back the ball and Waters drove the lane to score to tie the game at 73-73 with 1:51 to play in overtime.
Three free throws in two different possessions around an LSU turnover put the Seminoles up 76-73 with under 20 seconds to play, but Waters drove in front of the bench, leaned forward on a three-point attempt and was fouled with under 11 seconds to play.
Waters calmly made all three free throws and the game was tied for the 12th and final time at 76-76. After an LSU timeout, Forrest brought the ball up and moved toward the right side where he found Kabengele in the deep baseline corner who launched what would be the winning three.
Mays would lead LSU in scoring with 19 points on 7-of-9 shooting, including four treys and four assists, while Ja’vonte Smart had 14 second half points in scoring 16 with eight assists and five boards. Naz Reid had 12 points and Waters had 11 points, three assists and four steals.
Walker hit five treys to lead Florida State with 21 points, while Kabengele had 15 points and Forrest 10 points, seven rebounds and five assists. Terance Mann had 12 rebounds to go with nine points and seven were offensive boards.
LSU shot 51.9 percent for the game (27-of-52) which marked the first time in the Will Wade era that the Tigers shot 50 percent and lost in 16 such games and the first time LSU has outshot an opponent in Coach Wade’s two seasons at LSU that the Tigers have failed to win in 21 such games. LSU made 11 treys (11-26) and 11-of-13 at the free throw line.
Florida State shot just 38.2 percent (29-of-76) for the game with nine treys and 12-of-17 at the line.
But the shot difference was huge has LSU was out rebounded, 43-30, and a more important 22-4 on the offensive glass.
FSU had a 36-26 advantage in points in the paint despite missing 10-of-20 layups (6-11 for LSU). The Tigers were 5-5 on dunk attempts compared to 3-5 for FSU. FSU got 22 points off LSU’s 18 turnovers, compared to 14 for the Tigers on FSU’s 12 turnovers in a game that featured 12 ties and 11 lead changes.
LSU, which led the game for almost 29 minutes, was the first to strike in the opening half, building a 12-6 lead six minutes in on a dunk by Kavell Bigby-Williams. But foul trouble in the opening half limited Emmitt Williams to three minutes and Bigby-Williams to just five minutes.
Florida State would have a halftime advantage of one, 30-29, at the break.
In the second half, the teams would trade the advantage until the Tigers went on an 8-0 run as Smart hit a trey, Darius Days hit two free throws and Daryl Edwards nailed a trey to put LSU up 54-46 with 9:20 to play. Florida State would cut it back to two, but a three by Reid and a dunk by Williams put LSU up by seven, 59-52, at the 7:21 mark.
After FSU cut the margin to three, it would be a three by Smart, followed by a two minute segment when neither team could score before Mays hit a three that gave LSU a 65-56 lead with 3:05 to play, setting up the final sequence of regulation.
The teams have off on Saturday and LSU will be back in action in the third place game Sunday at 4 p.m. EST (3 p.m. BR time) against Oklahoma State, a loser to Villanova, 77-58, in the other semifinal. That game will be televised on ESPN2 and broadcast on the LSU Sports Radio Network (Eagle 98.1 FM).
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