- By TERESA M. WALKER, AP Sports Writer
By TERESA M. WALKER, AP Sports Writer
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Riley LaChance hit two free throws with 2:01 left to put Vanderbilt ahead to stay, and the Commodores snapped a four-game skid by beating LSU 77-71 Saturday afternoon.
The Commodores (7-12, 2-5 Southeastern Conference) watched a 16-point lead in the second half disappear as they played a second straight game without their second-leading scorer Matthew Fisher-Davis.
LSU took its only lead at 65-64 with 2:21 left on a bucket by Duop Reath. But LaChance hit his free throws as Vanderbilt finished the game 9 of 11 at the line. Freshman Saben Lee hit a jumper with 47.6 seconds left to pad the lead as he scored 10 of his 12 points in the final 6:48 to help Vandy pull out the win.
LaChance finished with 26 points. Jeff Roberson had 20 for Vanderbilt.
Reath finished with a career-high 31 points for LSU (11-7, 3-3). Skylar Mays added 13.
Roberson helped the Commodores seize control by opening the second half with a 12-2 run by scoring the first nine points of the spurt. LaChance capped the run by tying his season-high with his fourth 3-pointer, giving Vandy its biggest lead of the game at 46-30 with 16:54 left.
LSU whittled away at Vandy’s lead and used an 8-0 run to pull within 56-54 on a bucket by Reath with 8:55 left to set up the thrilling finish.
The Tigers came in as the SEC’s top-shooting team averaging 49.4 percent. But they couldn’t have been much colder in the opening minutes as they missed seven of their first eight shots and managed only to tie it up at 15 on a jumper by Aaron Epps.
The Commodores answered with nine straight, including Lee stealing an inbounds pass and scoring. The Commodores led 34-28 at halftime.
LSU: The Tigers now have lost two straight with this their first SEC road loss.
Vanderbilt: The Commodores improved to 2-11 against teams in the NCAA Top 100 RPI. They also beat LSU at Memorial Gym for the first time since Feb. 8, 2012. … Even with Reath dominating inside, the Commodores were outscored only 34-30 in the paint.
LSU: Hosts Texas A&M on Tuesday night.
Vanderbilt: Visits Tennessee on Tuesday night.
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Follow Teresa M. Walker at www.twitter.com/teresamwalker