LSU rallies to beat Michigan Wolverines basketball team, 77-75
By JOHN MARSHALL
AP Basketball Writer
LAHAINA, Hawaii — Tremont Waters hit a step-back jumper, got back into his defensive and poked the ball free near midcourt. He dove to the floor, grabbed the ball and, in one motion, heaved it blindly over his head toward teammate Skylar Mays, alone at the other end.
Impressive stuff from a freshman, even one considered among the nation’s top point guards.
Waters scored 21 points and set up the go-ahead basket with his spectacular no-look assist, helping LSU rally for a 77-75 victory over Michigan in the Maui Invitational on Monday night.
“Tremont Waters just made some incredible plays,” Wolverines coach John Beilein said.
LSU (3-0) trailed by nine with about 5 minutes left, but chipped away at the lead to get within reach. Waters tied it with a step-back jumper and followed with his highlight-reel, steal-and-assist to Mays for a dunk and a 76-74 lead with 1:14 left.
Waters hit 1 of 2 free throws with 5.8 seconds after Michigan’s Charles Matthews went 1 for 2 at the line, giving the Wolverines (3-1) a final chance. Matthews, who had 28 points, got off a shot from the wing, but it came up short, sending LSU’s players racing off the bench in cheers.
Aaron Epps had 14 points for the Tigers, who move on to face No. 13 Notre Dame in today’s semifinals.
Moritz Wagner had 24 points for Michigan.
“Obviously, you could tell by the way we reacted, that was a huge win for us, huge,” LSU coach Will Wade said. “I’m so proud of our players. We turned the page on our program tonight.”
LSU and Michigan are in rebuilding years, the Tigers after Wade replaced Johnny Jones, the Wolverines after losing a trio of stars.
Michigan had a pair of lopsided wins sandwiched around a tight victory over Central Michigan to start the season.