As the final minutes ticked off Wednesday night in a game that had 14 Lead changes in which every hustle-filled possession was chock-full of flying, board-battling bodies, Will Wade sounded more like a boxing trainer than LSU's first-year head basketball coach.
0:56 remaining: LSU senior forward Aaron Epps capped the best night of his career, 26 points and 16 rebounds, by scoring an old-fashioned three-point play with a layup and free throw for an 80-74 lead.
0:49: Houston senior guard Rob Gray, the American Athletic Conference's leading scorer, hit an all-by-his-lonesome three-pointer to slice the Tigers' margin to a single possession.
LSU remains without starting guard Brandon Sampson, the Tigers' best defender, who severely sprained his ankle Nov. 21 in the first minute against Notre Dame in the Maui Classic.
Even when LSU fell behind Houston and looked on the verge of disappearing to the land of double-digit losses where last year's 10-21 team resided 15 times, it simply doubled down its effort.
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