Feb 22, 2014 7:14 PM
Julius Randle scored in the lane with 3.9 seconds remaining in overtime to give No. 15 Kentucky a hard-earned 77-76 victory over LSU on Saturday.
After Andre Stringer's jumper with 12 seconds left gave LSU a 76-75 lead, James Young's shot on the other end was blocked. Randle was able to grab the loose ball and hit the game-winning short jumper, sparking a delirious celebration with his Wildcats teammates piling on top of him on LSU's end of the court.
Randle's shot provided a fitting end to a tight, tense game symbolized by the back-and-forth overtime period before Kentucky (21-6, 11-3 Southeastern Conference) made good use of its last possession for an emotional win that earned a season split with LSU (16-10, 7-7).
Randle finished with eight points and 15 rebounds for Kentucky, which got 21 points from Aaron Harrison and 20 from Young.
Johnny O'Bryant III and Anthony Hickey both had 20 points for LSU.
Kentucky once again won the rebounding battle (43-40) along with dominating the paint (50-28), but this time the Wildcats won after squandering those advantages in last month's loss in Baton Rouge when the Tigers shot nearly 52 percent.
LSU shot just 40 percent this time, slightly worse than Kentucky's 42 percent. The Tigers were 7 of 17 from 3-point range with Hickey making four.
And while Kentucky struggled to keep up with the physical O'Bryant - who had 12 rebounds - and Hickey, the Wildcats gave themselves chances to go ahead and eventually win by denying both players the ball at key moments.
Kentucky forced Stringer into a turnover as the seconds ran out, much to the delight of a sellout Rupp Arena crowd that endured more than its share of nervous moments.
Here's why: the game featured 11 ties and 11 lead changes and even when either team seemed on the verge of making it a two-possession game, the momentum and score quickly swung the other way.