Kentucky holds off LSU, advances to SEC semis
New Orleans, LA (Sports Network) - Michael Kidd-Gilchrist scored 19 points and grabbed nine rebounds, as the top-ranked Kentucky Wildcats earned a hard- fought 60-51 win over a pesky LSU squad in the quarterfinals of the Southeastern Conference Tournament.
Terrence Jones and Anthony Davis, the SEC overall, freshman and defensive player of the year, both posted a double-double. Jones had 15 points and 11 rebounds, while Davis, like the rest of the team, overcame a subpar first half to accrue 12 points and 14 boards.
Doron Lamb also scored 12 points for the top-seeded Wildcats (31-1), who notched their 23rd straight win and will face No. 22 Florida in Saturday's semifinals.
"I thought [LSU] had a great game plan, played physical, did what they had to do give them a chance to win," said Kentucky head coach John Calipari.
Storm Warren had 14 points and six rebounds for the eighth-seeded Tigers (18-14), who defeated Arkansas on Thursday to snap a three-game losing streak.
Kentucky entered the tournament having run the table in the SEC with a 16-0 mark but held a narrow 25-24 halftime lead after shooting just 31.8 percent.
Early in the second half, the Tigers got easy baskets as the result of turnovers. Andre Stringer hit a high-percentage shot to put LSU up 35-30, capping an 11-2 run.
Jones scored the game's next nine points, and Kidd-Gilchrist buried a jumper that put the Wildcats ahead 47-39 with 8:36 to play.
LSU was within 49-45 after Stringer made a layup, but Davis, who had only one point in the first half, answered with a three-point play for Kentucky.
The Tigers couldn't get any closer, and two Davis free throws stretched the lead to 58-49 with about four minutes remaining.
"A tough, tough, tough loss," said LSU head coach Trent Johnson. "I thought we competed as hard and as good as we have all year. It's unfortunate for us that we had some shots that didn't go down for us."
Kentucky improved to 15-2 against LSU in the SEC Tournament...Stringer had 11 points, while Ralston Turner and Anthony Hickey provided 10 points apiece for the Tigers...The Wildcats shot 55 percent in the second half.
03/09 17:42:47 ET