Defensive miscues cost LSU in loss to Virginia

Associated Press  |  Last updated January 02, 2012
LSU let an opportunity to defeat a second Top 25 team in two weeks slip away. Sammy Zeglinski scored 17 points, including a big 3-pointer late in the game, to help No. 21 Virginia beat the Tigers 57-52 in a non-conference game Monday night. Joe Harris added 14 points, also hitting a 3-pointer late, for the Cavaliers (13-1), who have won 11 straight games. LSU coach Trent Johnson was not happy with his team's defense on either 3-point shot. ''Not to take anything away from Virginia, but we had way too many breakdowns defensively,'' Johnson said. ''Losing Harris and losing Zeglinski on end-line out-of-bounds and (giving up) jump shots cost us. If you are not disciplined and you do not close out the shooters, they will make you pay.'' With the Cavaliers on top 48-47, Zeglinski knocked down a 3-pointer with 3:25 remaining in the game. LSU (10-4), which had its seven-game winning streak end, came right back to pull within one point at 51-50 when Anthony Hickey sank a 3-pointer with 2:07 remaining in the game. Then it was time for Harris to make his 3-pointer to give Virginia another four-point advantage. ''I knew the shot clock was running down,'' Harris said. ''I tried to get the shot up quick. (Ralston) Turner closed out with his hands down. I thought it was going in when I shot it. This win should give us a huge lift.'' Trailing 47-46, Virginia went on top on a basket by Assane Sene with 5:13 remaining in the game. Sene's basket came after his blocked shot went out of bounds off a LSU player. It was nearly two minutes before either team scored again. Zeglinski ended the scoring drought with his 3-pointer. ''Mike made a great pass,'' said Zeglinski. ''My guy was sagging off me to help out on our big guy. I was fortunate enough to make it.'' The Cavaliers had to prevent LSU from scoring on a couple of possessions in the last minute to preserve their victory. The Tigers cut their deficit in half at 54-52 on a field goal by Justin Hamilton with 51 seconds remaining. LSU got the ball back when Turner blocked a shot by Harris and Hamilton grabbed the ball. However, Hamilton immediately lost the ball. LSU would have one more opportunity to tie the score after Zeglinski made just one of two foul shots with 19 seconds remaining. Turner failed to make a 3-point shot on LSU's next possession. Mike Scott, who had 12 points, rebounded for the Cavaliers and made his two free throws. Hamilton was the Tigers' only double-figure scorer with a career-high 21 points. Turner, who entered the game with a 10.5 scoring average, was held to two points. Andre Stringer, who had not played in nearly a month due to some fainting issues, started and scored eight points in 24 minutes. Despite holding the lead for most of the first half, Virginia needed a pair of free throws from Harris in the final 30 seconds to forge a tie going into the break. LSU had no more than a two-point advantage in the opening 20 minutes. The Tigers grabbed a four-point lead at the outset of the second half on baskets by Hamilton and Turner. The Cavaliers responded with an 8-2 run to go ahead 34-32. A field goal by Harris gave Virginia its first lead of the second half. LSU came back to take its largest advantage of the game at 42-37. Trailing by one point, Hamilton converted a three-point play and Jalen Courtney knocked down a 3-pointer. The lead was short-lived as the Cavaliers outscored the Tigers 9-2. A field goal by Scott gave Virginia a 46-44 lead with 6:20 to play. Hickey gave LSU its last lead at 47-46 with a 3-pointer with 5:46 remaining in the game.
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