Xavier Pinson hurt as No. 21 LSU basketball turns up offense in win over No. 18 Tennessee
The Tigers beat No. 18 Tennessee 79-67, getting 24 points and 12 rebounds from Tari Easton, 15 points from Darius Days and 13 from Brandon Murray in front of an announced crowd of 12,811.
LSU (14-1, 2-1 SEC) won its second straight SEC game while Tennessee (10-4, 1-2) lost for the second time in conference play.
The win was blemished for LSU, however, when Tigers starting guard Xavier Pinson, a transfer from Missouri, went down with a leg injury late in the second half. Pinson's left leg slipped and his right leg buckled under him as he dribbled toward the basket.
He was helped off the court, taken to the locker room and later returned to the bench. He did not re-enter the game.
Leading 42-35 after an opening half in which it led by as many as 10, LSU extended its lead to 16 at 58-42 when Eason followed a 3-pointer with a dunk off a Days block with 15:21 to go. Two Murray free throws gave the Tigers a 20-lead lead with 14:13 left. Tennessee got to within five with less than two minutes remaining, but a Murray fast-break layup helped LSU hold on.
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Murray and Pinson had nine points each for LSU, and Eason had six rebounds to go with his seven points, during a first half in which the Tigers shot 53.3% (16-of-30) from the field. LSU made 6-of-10 3-pointers, including 2-of-3 by Pinson and Mwani Wilkinson, during the half.
Kennedy Chandler had 14 points at the break for Tennessee, which hit just 40.9% (9-of-22) from the field, including 28.6% from deep (4-of-14) in the first 20 minutes.
LSU returns to the road for its next SEC game when it plays Florida on Wednesday (6 p.m. CT, ESPN2/U). Tennessee is at home against South Carolina on Tuesday (5:30 p.m. CT, SEC Network).