BATON ROUGE, Sporting Alert – Buddy Hield scored 32 points and his roommate Isaiah Cousins added 18, including the winning jumper and No. 1 Oklahoma rallied to beat LSU 77-75 here at Pete Maravich Assembly Center in Baton Rouge on Saturday. Box score
Hield, who went 11-of-22 from the floor and hit eight 3-pointers, scored 21 of his total points in the second half.
The senior guard, who is the leading contender for the national player of the year award, also grabbed seven rebounds for the Sooners (18-2, 6-2 Big 12) who rallied from a 14 point deficit.
Cousins went 8-of-14 from the floor and also finished with seven assists, four rebounds and four steals.
Tim Quarterman connected on all five of his 3-pointers to finish with 18 points and Craig Victor II ended with 15 for LSU (13-8, 6-2 SEC).
Ben Simmons added 14 points, nine rebounds, five assists and two steals, but he failed to deliver the highlighting performance everyone was hoping to see against the best team in the country.
In fact, Simmons never really got going until the second half when he scored a layup and then followed that bucket with a dunk, which gave LSU a 50-38 lead.
The quick baskets immediately forced Oklahoma’s coach Lon Kruger into taking a timeout to kill the early momentum before Hield stopped an 8-0 run with a 3-pointer.
Oklahoma kept chipping away at the lead with big buckets, especially from team leader Hield, and the Tigers managed to cut the deficit to three points with 7:11 left in the game.
With LSU struggling to score late in the game, Hield found his range again to hit back-to-back 3-pointers, which gave the Sooners a 66-65 lead with just under four-minutes to play.
The teams then went back-and-forth in the last three-minutes before Hield smashed home another of his big-time 3-pointers to give the Sooners a 73-72 lead with 1:21 left.
Oklahoma then took a 75-72 advantage on a bucket from Isaiah Cousins with 1:10 remaining.
LSU’s Antonio Blakeney made a 3-pointer to tie the game at 75-75, but Cousins made what turned out to be the winning jumper with 0:06 left from a play that was designed for him during a timeout.
THE FIRST HALF LOOK-BACKS
Simmons went 2-for-2 in the first half for four points — opting to be the provider, as he dished out five of LSU’s eight first half team assists. Quarterman was 3-for-3 from 3-pointers and scored 12 points in the opening 20 minutes.
The Tigers shot 55.6 percent from the floor in the first half and 58.3 percent from 3-point range on 7-of-12 shooting.
The hosts also took nine trips to the free-throw line in the opening half and was successful seven times, while limiting Oklahoma to just four trips.
Hield (11) and Cousins (10) were both in double-figure scoring for the Sooners in the first half. Oklahoma’s 8-point halftime deficit was its largest of the season, and the nation’s top 3-point shooting team, went just 5-for-14 from long range.