HEARTBREAK: LSU Can’t Hold On vs. N.C. State


With a little over four minutes to play, forward Jordan Mickey made a free throw to put LSU ahead 65-58. That was the last time the Tigers saw the ball fall through the hoops.

LSU (9), who had a 16 point lead early in the second half, missed their last 12 field goal attempts plus another 6 shots from the free throw line — to give the N.C. State Wolfpack (8) the honor of playing #1 seeded Villanova in the round of 32.

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Tigers guard Tim Quarterman finished the night with 17 points, 9 rebounds and 7 assists. Whether he was creating for himself and his teammates on the offensive end, or helping shut down the backcourt of N.C. State, Quarterman was carrying the load for LSU.

Mar 19, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; LSU Tigers guard Tim Quarterman (55) celebrates from the court during the first half against the North Carolina State Wolfpack in the second round of the 2015 NCAA Tournament at Consol Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Unfortunately, his fantastic performance will most likely be clouded by those crucial free throws missed down the stretch.. at least in his eyes.

He will most likely take the blame for the end result being the leader that he is, but he most certainly does not deserve that burden.

Forwards Jarell Martin and Jordan Mickey put on quite a show for the fans watching around the nation.

Mickey tallied 12 points to go along with 14 rebounds and 6 blocks.

Though he only shot 4-13 from the field, Mickey’s presence in the paint on both ends of the floor was key to getting the Tigers going.

There is only so much a man can do against a freakish 7’9″ wingspan like that of N.C. State’s Beejay Anya, but for the most part he did it.

Martin got the crowd on their feet multiple times tonight thanks to some flashy dunks.

His physicality and athleticism also proved to be an issue for N.C. State, finishing with 16 points and 11 rebounds of his own. The quickness of both he and Martin was key to holding the Wolfpack to only 26 points in the first half.

Ralston Turner and Trevor Lacey have been key to N.C. State’s success all year long. Their struggles throughout the game are what let the Tigers stretch their lead out so far. They finished the night with a lowly 8-29 from the field.

Where these two floundered, their forwards flourished. Abdul-Malik Abu and Beejay Anya came through in a big way in the second half.

After getting beat on the offensive glass 8-1 in the first half, the Wolfpack flipped the script on the Tigers, winning the second half battle 10-5.

The second chance points that came as a result of these opportunities, plus the elimination of the Tigers’ second chances, played a massive role in diminishing the LSU lead.

The game winning tip-in from Anya in the waning seconds was only his second bucket of the game, but that opportunity paints a perfect picture for the entire second half of the game.

Mar 19, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; The North Carolina State Wolfpack players celebrates after defeating the LSU Tigers 66-65 in the second round of the 2015 NCAA Tournament at Consol Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The most valuable player for the Wolfpack was Anthony Barber.

His speed alone was enough to constantly pressure the Tigers defense, as the threat of his drives created open shots for both himself and his teammates.

He finished with a team high 17 points on 7-16 shooting. That kind of athleticism opens the door for countless possibilities, and it may be the x-factor in the Wolfpack’s matchup against Villanova on Saturday…..\

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