Feb 21, 2024; Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA; LSU Tigers forward Tyrell Ward (15) reacts to making a three point basket against the Kentucky Wildcats during the second half of the game at Pete Maravich Assembly Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Ward Sinks No. 17 Kentucky Wildcats with Buzzer-Beater For LSU In SEC Men’s Hoops

The LSU Tigers men’s basketball team defeated the number 17 Kentucky Wildcats 75-74 Wednesday night thanks to a Tyrell Ward buzzer-beater.

Ward Saves the Day

After LSU’s Jalen Reed sunk a free throw with just over a minute remaining in the game, the Tigers were up 73-69 over Kentucky. But Kentucky guard Rob Dillingham would quickly convert a three-point play after a made layup and an LSU foul. After a Tigers’ turnover, Dillingham capitalized again, giving Kentucky a one-point lead with only 12 seconds remaining.

With three seconds left, Jordan Wright attempted a game-winning layup, but had his shot blocked by Adou Thiero. The ball was blocked straight back into Wright’s possession. In a desperate attempt to extend the play, Wright lobbed the ball back in the paint.

Ward, best described as the man in the right place at the right time, caught the lob in midair and tossed the ball toward the basket. As the clock expired, the ball swished through the net, giving LSU their second straight win over a ranked opponent.

Turning the Tide

LSU’s loss against Florida on February 13 marked its third straight loss and their sixth loss in seven games. Jordan Wright’s wide open potential game-tying missed jumper two feet from the basket seemed to highlight LSU’s struggles in SEC play. But that must have ignited a spark in the Tigers.

https://twitter.com/GatorsMBK/status/1757601429840343216

Since then, the Tigers are 2-0, with wins over number 11 South Carolina and number 17 Kentucky. The win against Kentucky is LSU’s fourth Quadrant 1 win. Despite the Tigers’ losing record in SEC play (6-7), they have built an impressive resume this season.

What’s Next

The Tigers take on Mississippi State (18-8) at home on Saturday. They then close out the season with match ups against the SEC’s bottom four teams, Georgia, Vanderbilt, Arkansas and Missouri. If the Tigers win the remainder of their games, they will have a very strong case to be included in the March Madness tournament.

Regardless, LSU has proved they are a threat to the SEC’s top teams. Winning the SEC Tournament, which starts on Wednesday, March 13, would earn the Tigers an automatic bid for March Madness.

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