Trendon Watford scored 22 points that included a layup and two crucial free throws in the final two minutes as visiting LSU outlasted Texas 69-67 on Saturday afternoon in a Big 12/SEC Challenge game in Austin, Texas.
LSU led by 16 points five minutes into the second half before the Longhorns rolled off 22 of the next 26 points to tie the score at 58 and set the table for a furious final four minutes.
A jumper by Jericho Sims gave Texas a 60-58 lead with 3:44 to play but a bucket by Darius Days at the 3:15 mark tied the score at 60. Then Watford's layup after a Marlon Taylor steal with 1:48 remaining staked LSU to a two-point advantage.
Two free throws by Skylar Mays with 49 seconds left pushed the Tigers' lead to 64-60 before Matt Coleman III's bucket with 28 seconds to play brought Texas within two points.
Watford then converted two free throws with 16.5 seconds left. After Texas' Andrew Jones missed a 3-pointer with 9 seconds to play, Mays hit 1 of 2 from the charity stripe to cement the game for the Tigers.
Mays and Javonte Smart added 10 points each for LSU (15-4), which has won eight straight games.
Jones led the Longhorns (12-7) with 20 points while Coleman scored 17 points and Jericho Sims added 14. Texas has lost three in a row.
Watford scored 12 points in the first half as the Tigers shot 55 percent from the floor and outrebounded the Longhorns 19-10 in establishing a 42-32 lead at intermission. LSU hit 5 of its next 9 3-point attempts but Watford did all of his damage from inside.
Texas stayed within distant reach thanks to Sims' 10 first-half points (on 5-for-6 shooting); the Longhorns, who live and die by the 3-pointer, were only 4 of 15 from beyond the arc in the first half.
The Tigers pushed their lead to as many as 16 points three times early in the second half before Texas forged a modest comeback, pulling within 54-46 on Coleman's jumper with 10:45 to play. Courtney Ramey's jumper 2 1/2 minutes later got the Longhorns within six points as LSU went 1-for-8 from the field and had three turnovers to aid Texas' surge.
--Field Level Media