By LARRY VAUGHT
The first thing LSU forward Emmitt Williams wanted to do after his team beat Kentucky 73-71 in Rupp Arena Tuesday night was give a “shout-out” to Kentucky.
“They played a good game, and I’ve known those guys since high school, and it was amazing to play against them,” Williams said. “I know Keldon Johnson, PJ Washington, Nick Richards, all those guys. They played a great game tonight, but LSU came out with the win.
“Shout-out to (our team), they played hard. It was fun tonight. This was a fun game. No one got hurt, which was the best part of the game. Everyone on my side was happy.”
LSU guard Skylar Mays said it was “unbelievable” to win in Rupp Arena.
“Especially winning that way in a place with so much prestige. We have a ton of respect for Kentucky. Every team that plays them, you mark that on your calendar. They’re a great team. They gave us all we could handle, and we just happened to come out on top,” Mays said. “This is probably one of the biggest highlights (of my career).”
Mays said LSU had to make second-half adjustments after being down 40-32 at halftime.
“The goal for us was to get to the rim, but they have a lot of length. A lot of us, we weren’t able to finish as well as we liked, but we just tried to stay the course, stick with our game, and just keep executing,” Mays said.
The SEC had been viewed as a two-team race between Tennessee, 10-0 in SEC play going into tonight’s game against South Carolina, and Kentucky, now 9-2. But the win lifts LSU to 10-1 and it will host the Vols Feb. 23. Tennessee plays at Kentucky Saturday.
“I don’t think we look at that as much. I think we just look at the next game on the schedule,” Mays said. “Obviously, Kentucky is different from a lot of other teams, but we just continue to stay the course. Now, we have to look at film and see what we could have done better this game so we don’t make the same mistakes against Georgia on Saturday.”