, Louisiana (PressExposure) February 28, 2009 -- The LSU Tigers cemented a regular season title on February 28th at Rupp Arena with a 73-70 win over Kentucky. This would be the first win at Rupp that the Tigers recorded in 20 years.
It was a high scoring game with 21 points going to Tasmin Mitchell, 23 points credited to Marcus Thornton and 16 for Bo Spencer.
The Kentucky side also had two double scorers with Patrick Patterson leading the game with 28 points and 9 rebounds. Jodie Meeks scored 16.
In the end the game came down to and exciting second half.
"It was a hard fought win for us. I think we played really well. When we were down 10, I thought we were trying to do too much individually." Trent Johnson said. "We really needed to get back to our offense as a team and we did that. That is what happens when you have a group of guys that wants to win very badly. Chris Johnson is typical of this team, he was ready to play before the game. He wanted to play so badly and he was excited about the match-up against Patrick Patterson. Bo Spencer had a great game and he really stepped up in a huge way. We got some big minutes from some guys who haven't got a lot of minutes. Storm Warren got two huge blocks. Our guys worked extremely hard and they are a great group of guys to coach but with all that being said our guys continue to get better."
LSU led coming off the intercession with 36-28, until Meeks tied it up 40-40 with 15:12 left in the game.
At 14:26 Darius Miller fouled, giving Thornton a chance to sink two free throws for the lead. The next minute alone held four lead changes and the two teams battled for points. 13:49 left on the clock left Meek a layup for the lead. Kentucky rallied for a 12 point lead with three more lead changes for the rest of the game.
Darius Miller tied it up again at 70-70 with only 27 seconds left.
Tasmin Mitchell answered with a three pointer sealing the deal on the win after Meeks missed a crucial goal from behind the arc with three seconds left.
"He played good but I think it was an entire group of guys that played in the second half. He put some pressure on the point guard like we like to do. We started disrupting them and got a big lead but then we relaxed too much. We aren't mature enough to be a team that stays composed. We didn't play smart enough. When we had a lead it was similar to the South Carolina (game). I made a critical substitution during that 10-point lead, which ended up being the wrong guy. That's what got us in the position we were in, in the first place and it got us in the end. That was a mistake by me." Kentucky head coach Billy Gillispie said after the game.