Brooks, Boston help Kentucky beat LSU 82-69, end 3-game skid


Associated Press



Kentucky's Davion Mintz, top left, shoots as LSU's Cameron Thomas, left, and Darius Days (4) defend during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Lexington, Ky., Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. (AP Photo/James Crisp)

Kentucky's Davion Mintz, top left, shoots as LSU's Cameron Thomas, left, and Darius Days (4) defend during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Lexington, Ky., Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. (AP Photo/James Crisp)


Kentucky head coach John Calipari yells to his team during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against LSU in Lexington, Ky., Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. (AP Photo/James Crisp)


Kentucky's B.J. Boston, top, shoots while defended by LSU's Ja'Vonte Smart, left, and Darius Days (4) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Lexington, Ky., Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. (AP Photo/James Crisp)


LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Keion Brooks Jr. had 13 of his season-high 15 points in the first half, Brandon Boston Jr. added 13 of his 18 points in the second half, and Kentucky trailed for just 15 seconds in its 82-69 win over LSU 82-69 on Saturday night to snap a three-game skid.

Kentucky (5-9, 4-3 Southeastern Conference), which had a six-game losing streak earlier this season, got a much-needed win in the first of a five-game stretch against Top-40 teams. The Wildcats avoided their third four-game slide under coach John Calipari.

Olivier Sarr made a layup and Brooks made two free throws to give Kentucky the lead for good before Davion Mintz and Boston hit back-to-back 3-pointers to make it 12-4. The Wildcats set season highs for a half with 13 assists, six 3-pointers, and 49 points while taking a 13-point lead into the break.

Trendon Watford tied his career best with 26 points and added a season-high tying 10 rebounds, and freshman Cameron Thomas scored 18 for LSU (10-4, 5-3). Thomas, who went into the game averaging 22.0 points (No. 8 nationally), made 1 of 8 from 3-point range as the Tigers made just 4 of 23.

Watford made a layup to trim LSU’s deficit to 56-51 with 15:29 left to play but the Tigers got no closer. Boston answered with a 3 and then converted a three-point play before his tip-in of a miss by Brooks gave the Wildcats a 13-point lead with 10 minutes remaining.

Sarr finished with 13 points and Mintz 11. Freshman Isaiah Jackson grabbed a season-high 15 rebounds for Kentucky.

LSU received 20 votes in the latest AP poll but followed it up with a 105-75 home loss to No. 18 Alabama before getting outworked by the Wildcats on Saturday. Kentucky picked apart the Tigers’ full-court press — finishing with as many alley-oops (four) as turnovers and hitting six 3s — in the first half.

Kentucky, which committed at least 16 turnovers in each of its last three games, had just nine against the Tigers.

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Kentucky’s Davion Mintz, top left, shoots as LSU’s Cameron Thomas, left, and Darius Days (4) defend during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Lexington, Ky., Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. (AP Photo/James Crisp)
https://www.portsmouth-dailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/28/2021/01/web1_126114721-283fe0e877d942e4bc31fd5d5b8b2b0b.jpgKentucky’s Davion Mintz, top left, shoots as LSU’s Cameron Thomas, left, and Darius Days (4) defend during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Lexington, Ky., Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. (AP Photo/James Crisp)

Kentucky head coach John Calipari yells to his team during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against LSU in Lexington, Ky., Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. (AP Photo/James Crisp)
https://www.portsmouth-dailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/28/2021/01/web1_126114721-7d9ed299985548aa988292a425a3494f.jpgKentucky head coach John Calipari yells to his team during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against LSU in Lexington, Ky., Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. (AP Photo/James Crisp)

Kentucky’s B.J. Boston, top, shoots while defended by LSU’s Ja’Vonte Smart, left, and Darius Days (4) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Lexington, Ky., Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. (AP Photo/James Crisp)
https://www.portsmouth-dailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/28/2021/01/web1_126114721-4c5f169c3e4349e39516f87a2d2b48ec.jpgKentucky’s B.J. Boston, top, shoots while defended by LSU’s Ja’Vonte Smart, left, and Darius Days (4) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Lexington, Ky., Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. (AP Photo/James Crisp)

Associated Press