HOU
LSU

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Epps leads LSU past Houston 80-77

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) Aaron Epps scored a career-high 26 points and Tremont Waters blocked a game-tying 3-point attempt in the final seconds as LSU defeated Houston 80-77 on Wednesday.

Epps, who also grabbed a career-high 16 rebounds, put the Tigers (5-2) ahead by six points on a three-point play with 57 seconds remaining. Rob Gray pulled the Cougars within three points at 80-77 on a 3-pointer less than ten seconds later.

Following an LSU turnover, Houston (8-2) had a chance to tie it, but the 5-foot-11 Waters blocked Corey Davis Jr.'s 3-point attempt with six seconds to play. Devin Davis missed a long 3-point shot at the buzzer for the Cougars.

''We were just playing tonight,'' Epps said. ''We were playing extra hard, making extra passes. We were hustling. It was really hard getting rebounds on the defensive end because their guys were crashing hard, so I just had to basically fight.''

Waters had 17 points and six assists to go along with his first blocked shot of the season for the Tigers, who never trailed during the final 6 1/2 minutes. Mays had 18 points and a career-high nine rebounds.

Mays stressed that Epps was the star of the game.

''Epps has always been an animal on the glass,'' Mays said. ''It was his night. He performed really well and got timely scores as well. These are the games you want to play and the games you prepare for in the summer. We are excited with our work showing up tonight.''

Gray and Corey Davis Jr. scored 20 points apiece for Houston, whose winning streak ended at seven games. Devin Davis had 14 points.

''Either team could have won that game,'' Houston coach Kelvin Sampson said. ''It came down to making a shot here or there. We had some wide-open looks from three, but we missed them in the last five minutes. I'm not talking about the one that was blocked. I'm talking about the ones that were open.''

LSU erased a four-point Houston lead with a 10-0 run early in the second half. Six of those 10 points came at the foul line as the Tigers pulled ahead 55-49. The Cougars went nearly four minutes without scoring in that stretch.

''We won the game on toughness,'' LSU coach Will Wade said. ''We were really gritty down the stretch. That offensive rebound and and-1 by Epps was a huge play. Obviously, Epps led the way. But, it was a total team effort. To be the first team to outrebound them all year shows our guys were locked in.''

BIG PICTURE

LSU: The Tigers extended their winning streak to three games. LSU won its other close game this season, edging Michigan 77-75 in Hawaii.

Houston: The Cougars fell short in their bid to record their longest winning streak in 10 seasons. For the first time this year, Houston was outrebounded 38-33.

GRINDING OUT A WIN

LSU has lived on its outstanding shooting so far this season. The Tigers rallied in the second half to beat Houston thanks to its defense and rebounding. After allowing eight 3-pointers in the first half, LSU held the Cougars to 3-of-11 from behind the arc after halftime. Then, the Tigers outrebounded Houston 22-13 in the final 20 minutes. LSU outscored the Cougars 14-2 on second-chance points in the second half.

BIG HOMECOMING

Houston junior college transfer Corey Davis, whose hometown is Lafayette, Louisiana, nearly carried his team to a road victory. Davis scored a season-high 20 points and made six of his 10 3-point shots. Davis entered the game with a scoring average of 9.6 points.

UP NEXT

LSU will continue its six-game homestand when it faces Stephen F. Austin on Saturday.

Houston returns home to meet Prairie View on Sunday.

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Key Players
R. Gray
T. Waters
31.6 Min. Per Game 31.6
18.3 Pts. Per Game 18.3
6.6 Ast. Per Game 6.6
3.6 Reb. Per Game 3.6
50.4 Field Goal % 49.5
43.9 Three Point % 43.5
89.5 Free Throw % 80.6
  Defensive rebound by LSU 0.0
  Devin Davis missed 3-pt. jump shot 2.0
  Offensive rebound by Devin Davis 4.0
  Corey Davis Jr. missed 3-pt. jump shot, blocked by Tremont Waters 6.0
  Bad pass turnover on Tremont Waters, stolen by Devin Davis 24.0
+ 3 Rob Gray made 3-pt. jump shot 49.0
+ 1 Aaron Epps made free throw 56.0
  Shooting foul on Chris Harris Jr. 56.0
+ 2 Aaron Epps made layup 56.0
  Offensive rebound by Aaron Epps 56.0
  Skylar Mays missed layup 58.0
Team Stats
Points 77 80
Field Goals 28-63 (44.4%) 28-61 (45.9%)
3-Pointers 11-29 (37.9%) 7-21 (33.3%)
Free Throws 10-14 (71.4%) 17-20 (85.0%)
Total Rebounds 33 38
Offensive 10 12
Defensive 21 24
Team 2 2
Assists 14 10
Steals 5 4
Blocks 2 2
Turnovers 11 11
Fouls 21 17
Technicals 0 0
20 PTS, 3 REB, 7 AST
26 PTS, 16 REB
12T
away team logo Houston 8-2 383977
home team logo LSU 6-2 374380
Team Stats
away team logo Houston 8-2 75.3 PPG 44.4 RPG 14.8 APG
home team logo LSU 6-2 80.4 PPG 41.2 RPG 12.9 APG
Key Players
5
C. Davis Jr. G 17.0 PPG 3.3 RPG 2.8 APG 42.0 FG%
00
A. Epps F PPG RPG APG FG%
Top Scorers
C. Davis Jr. G 20 PTS 4 REB 2 AST
A. Epps F 26 PTS 16 REB 0 AST
44.4 FG% 45.9
37.9 3PT FG% 33.3
71.4 FT% 85.0
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
R. Gray 20 3 7 7/16 1/6 5/7 1 34 1 0 3 1 2
C. Davis Jr. 20 4 2 6/10 6/10 2/4 1 29 0 0 0 2 2
D. Davis 14 7 0 7/15 0/1 0/0 3 32 1 0 5 3 4
G. Robinson Jr. 5 2 2 2/5 1/2 0/0 0 22 0 0 2 0 2
B. Brady 0 1 0 0/2 0/0 0/0 4 8 0 1 0 0 1
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
R. Gray 20 3 7 7/16 1/6 5/7 1 34 1 0 3 1 2
C. Davis Jr. 20 4 2 6/10 6/10 2/4 1 29 0 0 0 2 2
D. Davis 14 7 0 7/15 0/1 0/0 3 32 1 0 5 3 4
G. Robinson Jr. 5 2 2 2/5 1/2 0/0 0 22 0 0 2 0 2
B. Brady 0 1 0 0/2 0/0 0/0 4 8 0 1 0 0 1
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
A. Brooks 9 3 1 3/6 3/6 0/0 2 17 1 0 0 1 2
C. Harris Jr. 5 5 0 2/2 0/0 1/1 3 12 0 1 0 0 5
W. VanBeck 4 1 1 1/5 0/4 2/2 2 18 1 0 0 1 0
N. Zanna 0 2 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 4 16 1 0 0 0 2
F. White Jr. 0 3 1 0/2 0/0 0/0 1 12 0 0 1 2 1
V. Sangoyomi - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Adewunmi - - - - - - - - - - - - -
C. Alley Jr. - - - - - - - - - - - - -
G. Grant - - - - - - - - - - - - -
C. Broodo - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 77 31 14 28/63 11/29 10/14 21 200 5 2 11 10 21
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
A. Epps 26 16 0 8/12 2/4 8/9 3 29 0 1 1 8 8
S. Mays 18 9 2 6/16 0/5 6/6 0 37 1 0 2 0 9
T. Waters 17 2 6 7/14 3/5 0/1 3 39 3 1 3 0 2
W. Sims 4 2 1 2/5 0/2 0/0 1 24 0 0 1 1 1
R. Onwuasor 2 0 0 1/2 0/0 0/0 3 6 0 0 1 0 0
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
A. Epps 26 16 0 8/12 2/4 8/9 3 29 0 1 1 8 8
S. Mays 18 9 2 6/16 0/5 6/6 0 37 1 0 2 0 9
T. Waters 17 2 6 7/14 3/5 0/1 3 39 3 1 3 0 2
W. Sims 4 2 1 2/5 0/2 0/0 1 24 0 0 1 1 1
R. Onwuasor 2 0 0 1/2 0/0 0/0 3 6 0 0 1 0 0
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
D. Reath 5 2 1 2/3 1/1 0/0 3 16 0 0 1 1 1
B. Rachal 5 5 0 1/3 0/0 3/4 2 23 0 0 1 2 3
D. Edwards 3 0 0 1/6 1/4 0/0 1 25 0 0 0 0 0
J. Combs 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 1 1 0 0 1 0 0
B. Sampson - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Graves - - - - - - - - - - - - -
R. Vial - - - - - - - - - - - - -
G. Alexander - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Kiir - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 80 36 10 28/61 7/21 17/20 17 200 4 2 11 12 24