For the second time in 48 hours, the LSU men’s basketball team had to go to overtime Saturday night against Georgia.
Only this time it was two overtimes.
This time, the Tigers made it count.
LSU came from eight points down with 1:44 to play in the first overtime and went on to take an 87-84 double-overtime thriller over Georgia in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center. The Tigers had been outscored 9-2 in overtime in a 74-67 loss at Missouri on Thursday night.
LSU (12-3, 1-1 Southeastern) appeared to be done in the first overtime when Georgia got a basket from Marcus Thornton and then hit 8 of 9 free throws to build a 79-71 lead after the Bulldogs led by nine with 2:20 remaining.
But LSU’s Josh Gray made a three-point play to cut the deficit to five, and Tim Quarterman — a Savannah, Georgia, native who finished with a career-high 27 points — made a 3-pointer with 37.7 seconds left.
Quarterman, whose previous career high was 21 points at West Virginia on Dec. 4, completed an old-fashioned three-point play with 18.3 seconds left to tie it at 80 after Georgia (9-5, 0-2) managed to make just one free throw down the stretch.
Then, in the second overtime, Quarterman made a layup to give his team an 86-82 lead with 2:11 to play. Jalyn Patterson, who made three free throws in the second overtime, dropped in one of two to give the Tigers an 87-84 advantage with 26.2 seconds remaining and went on to secure the win.
Patterson, who also had a career high with 15 points, made a pair of free throws with 4:04 to play to give LSU the lead for good at 83-82.
Quarterman was credited with a steal with 2 seconds left in the second overtime when Georgia’s Charles Mann, a 6-foot-5 guard, tried to pump-fake him on a 3-point attempt on the left wing.
Quarterman held his ground and no foul was called as Mann tried to initiate contact. The ball fell to the floor, and the final seconds ticked off the clock to send a crowd of 9,217 home happy.
“He tried to pump-fake me. … I’m just glad I didn’t jump,” said Quarterman, who stands 6-6. “I stayed down and just put my hands up. He leaned in and didn’t get the call.
“I’ve had a lot of great moments in basketball,” he added, “but this was a special moment for me. I had a lot of my family in for the game.”
“I don’t have a whistle, and I’m not going to think that this game had anything to do with officiating,” Georgia coach Mark Fox said. “We made too many mistakes. We just made some really silly plays to cost us the game. I’d have to watch the last play on tape.”
Quarterman was 10-of-16 from the field and knocked down 6 of 10 shots from beyond the arc as the Tigers finished 11-of-29 for the game from 3-point range. He added five rebounds, five assists, three steals and three blocked shots to offset five turnovers.
Jordan Mickey added 17 points and eight rebounds for LSU, and Gray had 15 points and six assists.
Quarterman had nine of LSU’s 13 points in the first overtime. LSU needed his production with forward Jarell Martin, the SEC’s leading scorer at 18.2 points per game, fouling out with 2:20 to play in the first overtime.
After Martin’s fifth foul sent him to the bench, Georgia’s J.J. Frazier hit a pair of free throws for a 77-68 lead. But LSU showed its resiliency and continued to battle in an important game — especially considering they let one get away at Missouri.
“I think we were down nine in the (first) overtime,” LSU coach Johnny Jones said. “With a little more than two minutes to go, we continued to fight and battle. … We made plays. What I told them was we had to play hard and play extremely well.”
Quarterman also had something to say to his team in the huddle after a critical call and review of an out-of-bounds play. The call was reversed and the ball given to Georgia, which was holding a 77-71 lead with 1:58 left.
“We just never gave up in the first overtime,” Quarterman said. “Never in the game did we think we were not going to win. I’m that type of player, and I’m going to play as hard as I can. I had to get my team pumped up.”