BRISBANE, QUEENSLAND, Australia — A put-back by Ben Simmons and a Tim Quarterman free throw in the final 40.7 seconds helped LSU hold off the Queensland All-Stars for a 91-88 win Tuesday.
LSU, which improved to 2-1 on its Australian tour, had a three-point lead late, but a turnover allowed Queensland to tie the game at 88-88 with 56 seconds left.
On the ensuing possession, LSU coach Johnny Jones drew up a play for Simmons. He missed and a tip-in by fellow freshman Antonio Blakeney failed before Simmons tipped it in for a two-point lead that held up as the game-winner.
Quarterman added a free throw with 16.8 seconds to play before Queensland’s attempt to send the game to overtime failed when Mitchell McCarron, who had made four 3-pointers earlier, couldn’t connect on another one at the horn.
“I thought from one game to the next, the other night we didn’t close it as well and ended up having a setback,” Jones said. “Tonight, it was a tight game late. I thought our guys made some plays and executed and gave us an opportunity to get out of here with a victory.”
Blakeney, who did not start for the first time on the tour, had a game-high 22 points and seven rebounds. Quarterman had 20 points and 11 rebounds, while Simmons added 18 points and 12 rebounds and Keith Hornsby had 10 points.
Jeremy Kendle led Queensland with 22 points.
“This game, like every game we played so far, is a brilliant test for us,” Hornsby said. “It forces us to mature at a rate we probably weren’t expecting.
“These teams with experienced guys put us to a test physically and mentally,” he said. “I’m very happy with how we buckled down and executed and got the win.”
Former Madison Prep star Brandon Sampson started in place of Blakeney and had eight points and four rebounds.
“Both those freshmen had some quality minutes for us,” Jones said after both played more than 26 minutes. “We’ll continue moving our lineup around on this trip and give guys some opportunities for us.
“It’s good and healthy for our team because our guys have an opportunity to compete at a high level.”
While happy with the win, Jones said his team has to clean some things up in the final two games on the exhibition tour — matchups with Melbourne United on Thursday and Saturday.
The biggest problem against Queensland was 20 turnovers, which were converted into 22 points. LSU, which did have 13 steals on the defensive end, converted only 6 of 18 fast-break opportunities on offense.
“We’ve got to make sure we clean up some areas,” Jones said. “We are a little careless at times with the ball in the open floor (on the break).”
SEC schedule release
The Southeastern Conference will release its 2015-16 league basketball schedule for all 14 men’s teams at 6 p.m. Wednesday on the SEC Network.
LSU hasn’t announced its entire nonconference schedule, but 10 games have been revealed through various sources.
They’ll host McNeese State (Nov. 13), Kennesaw State in the ESPN Tipoff Marathon (Nov. 16), South Alabama (Nov. 19), Gardner-Webb (Dec. 16), Wake Forest (Dec. 29) and Oklahoma (Jan. 30) and play at College of Charleston (Nov. 30) and Houston (Dec. 13).
LSU will also play Marquette (Nov. 23) and North Carolina State or Arizona State (Nov. 24) in the Legends Classic in Brooklyn.