DULUTH, Ga. – LSU went almost 9 minutes down the stretch with just one field goal, and that one shot was just enough to allow the Lady Tigers to escape with their seventh straight win.
Theresa Plaisance had 15 points and 14 rebounds and No. 22 LSU held on late to beat Auburn 65-62 on Thursday night in the Southeastern Conference tournament.
LSU (20-10) led by 15 points before Auburn's 10-0 run cut the lead to 61-56. Tyrese Tanner's jumper pulled Auburn to within four points at 64-60, and Chadarryl Clay's layup with 9 seconds remaining trimmed the lead to two points.
After LSU's Jeanne Kenney made 1 of 2 free throws, Clay's long last-second shot from just inside the half-court line bounced off the front rim.
"I'm glad the buzzer finally sounded," said LSU coach Nikki Caldwell. "As hard as Auburn played, the outcome of the game could've been different."
LSU's lone field goal in the last 8:39 was a 3-pointer by Adrienne Webb with 5:33 remaining.
"I knew we needed a basket at that time and at that moment," said Webb, who led LSU with 18 points. "In the back of my mind, I thought I had to make that shot. They were coming back, but we still had the lead. Just seeing it go through the net, I knew we just had to go make a stop."
The Lady Tigers managed only one free throw after Webb's 3-pointer.
The Lady Tigers will face No. 12 Georgia in a quarterfinal game Friday night. LSU beat Georgia 62-54 on Feb. 10 in Baton Rouge.
"When you play a team twice, it's always tough to come back and get that second win," Caldwell said.
"Our team had a different motivation going into the Georgia game. The question is which LSU team is going to show up? The team that reeled off those wins late or a team that just shows up?"
Blanche Alverson led Auburn (16-14) with 17 points and nine rebounds.
"I think something clicked around the 12-minute mark," Alverson said of the comeback. "We have confidence in ourselves. We wanted to wear them down on the offensive end. I thought we showed a lot of fight and a lot of heart."
Clay had 14 points, including a 3-pointer in the 10-0 run.
"If she didn't do that in that run we made, I don't think we would've been able to get so close," Tanner said of Clay. Tanner finished with 11 points.
LSU had two 8-0 runs in the first half. The Lady Tigers led 16-15 before a 3-pointer by Plaisance started the first 8-0 run.
LSU led 39-24 at halftime and took a big lead of 18 points at 55-37.
Plaisance recorded her 29th straight game scoring in double figures, but she made only 5 of 14 shots from the field.
LSU is attempting to advance to its second straight SEC tournament championship game. It lost to Tennessee in last year's final.