NASHVILLE, Tenn. — LSU forward Jordan Mickey returned to the lineup Friday after missing one game with a bruised shoulder, but had only a minimal impact in a 73-70 loss to Auburn in the quarterfinals of the SEC tournament.
Mickey played only 16 minutes because of foul trouble, finishing with just one point and eight rebounds and committing four turnovers before fouling out at the 5:12 mark of the second half with his team up 57-52.
“I felt fine, but I really didn’t help my team the way I wanted to,” said Mickey, who attempted only four shots from the field. “I was on the bench a lot because of the fouls.”
“I thought Jordan did a good job … he gave us some quality minutes,” LSU coach Johnny Jones said of Mickey, who went into the game averaging 16.0 points and 9.9 rebounds. “The injury didn’t have anything to do with it. Probably the time off (from practice) was more of an issue for him.”
Mickey was involved in an incident with Auburn forward Jordon Granger, who punched Mickey in the back of the head after they got tangled up in the lane with 13:48 remaining in the game.
Granger followed the punch with a jab at Mickey, who tried to get at Granger while officials stepped in to break things up. Two other skirmishes started to break out, and Jones rushed onto the court to try and help restore order.
Granger was assessed a Flagrant 2 foul and ejected, while Mickey was tagged with a technical foul — which went on the books as a personal foul as well.
The run continues
When Auburn claimed a victory its first two games here, it marked only the third time in the last 30 years it won multiple games in the SEC tournament.
Then, on Friday, Auburn shocked LSU for its third victory in about 45 hours after Bruce Pearl’s team went 4-14 in the league during the regular season. Auburn trailed at halftime in all three of its tournament games.
Before beating LSU, Auburn’s run to the quarterfinal round was the first for a team seeded 13th or lower since the league expanded from 12 to 14 teams in 2013.
Dressed for success?
Perhaps because his team was only 4-14, Pearl packed lightly for the trip to Nashville.
After defeating Texas A&M in the second round on Thursday, Pearl said he didn’t pack five suits — which he would have needed for his team to reach the championship game on Sunday.
“I did pack five shirts and five ties,” quipped Pearl, whose team advanced to Saturday’s semifinal matchup with top-ranked and undefeated Kentucky. “I’m going to have to re-tread at least one (suit) … I hope.”
Former LSU standout Ronald Dupree, a volunteer assistant coach this season, was honored Friday as the school’s SEC Basketball Legend for 2015.
Each school nominates one player to be recognized at halftime of his team’s first game in the SEC tournament.
Dupree played for LSU from 1999 to 2003 and helped the Tigers, who won the 2000 SEC regular-season title, reach the NCAA tournament twice. He ranks ninth all-time in points (1,726) and rebounds (907).
LSU guard Keith Hornsby had 24 points in the loss to Auburn. It was the 15th consecutive double-digit scoring game for Hornsby, which matches the 15-game streak by Tasmin Mitchell. … The overtime game was the fifth for LSU this season, setting a school record for a single season. The Tigers are 3-2 in overtime games. … LSU is 46-55 all-time in 55 SEC tournament appearances.
Follow Sheldon Mickles on Twitter @MicklesAdvocate.