Tiger Den Basketball
LSU Post-Season Games
LSU Post Season Games - 1986 Part 4

Bobby Cremins' Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets were ranked #1 at the start of the 1985-86 season.

  • Techcompiled a 23-5 record in the regular season to finish #6 in the final regular season poll. That got them the #2 seed in the Southeast Regional in Baton Rouge.
  • They defeated Marist 68-53 and Villanova 66-61 at the PMac to earn a spot in the Sweet Sixteen at The Omni.
  • It wasn't their home court, but it wasn't far from it in downtown Atlanta.
The Yellow Jackets were favored, of course.
  • Cremins told the press, "It seems like the pressure is always on Georgia Tech. I can't remember the last time that we have been the underdog."
  • Two seniors who would be picked in the top two rounds of the 1986 NBA Draft led the Yellow Jackets.
  • 6'0" G Mark Price ran the offense and led the club in scoring with an average of 17.4ppg. He was an excellent outside shooter and ball handler with court savvy.
  • 6'11" C John Salley, considered by many the leading big man in the land, led Tech in rebounds (6.7 per game) and was second in scoring (13.1).
  • 6'9" freshman F Tom Hammonds and 6'7" sophomore G Duane Ferrell averaged right at 12 points each.
While many commentators felt that Tech had underachieved in the regular season since they they didn't win the ACC regular season or tournament championship, everyone agreed that Dale Brown's Tigers had overachieved. But Tech's schedule was ranked #1 while LSU's was only 47th.

L: Don Redden drives on Mark Price. R: Redden shoots with Ricky Blanton underneath.
The game started with a fantastic pace by both teams.
  • Tech got two dunks, by John Salley and Duane Ferrell, against LSU's box-and-one defense with a defender chasing Price. The Tigers responded with eight straight points as Redden followed his miss with a basket, Anthony Wilson put back a miss by John Williams, Don Redden hit a jumper, and Derek Taylor got a steal and a breakaway. 8-4 LSU
    After Salley scored underneath, Redden canned another jumper, this one from the baseline. G Bruce Dalrymple drove the lane against the 2-3 zone for a basket. The score was tied at 10 at the first TV timeout.
    Jose Vargas, Brown's very emotional "Gentle Giant," came in. Neither team scored the next four possessions. Finally, Tom Hammonds made two free throws to put Tech ahead, but another Redden jumper quickly tied the score again and gave him eight of LSU's 12 points. After misses on both ends, Price hit two free throws. A minute later, Williams got a steal and a breakaway slam. After a Tech miss, Taylor hit a tough shot over Price, who came right back with a basket of his own. Williams followed up a Blanton miss but moments later committed his second foul. That put him on the bench for the rest of the half.
    After sloppy play on both sides, Taylor sank another jump shot, but Ferrell grabbed a loose ball on the other end and laid it in. Then Hammonds scored in the lane to make it 20-20 at the second TV break.
    After an LSU turnover, Price hit a jumper, but Blanton quickly countered with a field goal from the free throw line. Salley hit one of two free throws, then an LSU turnover set up Hammonds for a basket underneath to cap a 9-2 Tech run. The Tigers had many more field goal attempts than Tech but was shooting only 37%. They were lucky to be down by only three. Redden sank his fifth field goal in nine attempts, and after a Price miss, Oliver Brown ended a fast break with a layup and was fouled. He added the freebie to put the Tigers back on top 27-25.
    Tech now had two seven footers on the court with three ball handlers. Redden committed his second foul with 4:35 left in the half, but Brown kept him on the court.
    Each side sank a free throw before Redden grabbed a rebound and sank a short jumper. Taylor's two free throws gave LSU its largest lead at 34-30. A succession of futile possessions gave the Tigers a chance to work for the last shot. The strategy worked as Taylor hit with six seconds left. The Tigers ended the half with a 14-5 run.
    Halftime score: LSU 36 Georgia Tech 30
  • The statistics showed how LSU forged its lead. Although the Tigers were only 16-of-40 from the field to Tech's 12-of-24, LSU had 12 offensive rebounds and 12 second-chance points to Tech's three and two. Also Tech committed nine turnovers to just three for the Tigers. G Anthony Wilson led all rebounders with eight.
Tech came out fired up and scored the first six points of the second half to tie the game.
  • In between four more Williams' misses and one by Wilson, Hammonds got a put back, Price drove the length of the court for a layup, and Sallee scored under the basket. LSU finally broke the scoring ice with a Taylor layup after a Tech turnover.
    Neither team scored until Redden sank one of two free throws to make it 39-36 LSU. Hammonds canned a jumper before Taylor missed. But LSU continued to force turnovers to keep the Yellow Jackets from capitalizing on Tiger misses. Redden hit two more freebies to make it 41-38 LSU before Hammonds sank another jump shot.Taylor fouled Price on the fast break, and the Tech star hit both.
    Price put Tech in the lead 44-43 with a jump shot, but Redden quickly answered with a jump shot for his 17th and 18th points. After a Price miss, Wilson sank a jumper. 47-44 LSU
    Sallee scored underneath over Vargas but quickly committed his third foul on the defensive end. The next sequence showed how the Tigers were outhustling the Yellow Jackets. Wilson missed three shots in a row as LSU grabbed the loose ball after the first two. Finally, Price put Tech in front 48-44 only to have LSU come right back on Taylor's jumper and Redden'sank free throw.
    When Williams' errant shot streak reached nine, he stopped shooting and concentrated on defense and rebounding. Price sank another jumper to give Tech a 52-50 with 7:19 remaining. But Redden quickly answering back.
    Price hit again, then substitute Craig Neal stole the ball from Taylor and sank a layup to give Tech a 56-52 lead, matching their largest of the game. But the Tigers came right back. Taylor hit a jump shot. Then after LSU got another turnover, Derek struck again to tie the score with 5:00 to go.
    Back and forth it went. Hammonds in the lane. Taylor top of key. Next came a play that Coach Cremins cited afterward as a turning point. Taylor stole the ball from Hammonds, and Redden's jumper put LSU in front 60-58 with 3:28 to play. TV commentator Larry Conley said, "Tech is playing nervous." On cue, the Yellow Jackets committed their 15th turnover (to just four for LSU), and Redden hit again. But Price scored over LSU's 2-3 zone. Taylor missed, but Redden grabbed the loose ball off the floor and put it back in. Brown called a timeout with 1:36 on the clock and his Tigers leading 62-60.
    Tech had hit their last seven shots, with Price sinking four of them, but now they missed, and Redden was fouled away from the ball. He sank both free throws. 64-60 LSU.
    Dalrymple fouled out when he charged in the lane. With Tech pressing up high, Williams fired a great pass to Blanton all alone under the goal. 66-60 LSU. Ferrell ended the Tech scoring drought with a layin with 40 seconds left. Tech fouled Taylor, and the 87% free throw shooter sank one of two. Price finally missed, and Williams was fouled when he grabbed the rebound. He hit one of two. With Georgia Tech not wanting to foul, Hammond got a layup to make it 68-64 with four seconds left. That was enough time for Taylor to sink two more free throws.


  • Dale Brown: "The kids believe in themselves. That's what makes it so gratifying. We've got some magic in us. I'm just really happy about that magic." Asked if he would have thought LSU would win while shooting 41.2% and Williams playing 30 minutes, Brown said, "I would have said it would take a miracle. This might be a minor miracle for us."
  • Redden (27) and Taylor (23) combined for 50 points, totally outplaying Tech's Duane Ferrell and Mark Price, who were matched with them defensively. Their production made up for Williams' dismal game with only five points, a season low. "Derrick and I are seniors," said Redden, "and we knew we weren't going to let the team down. So we took over."
  • Bobby Cremins: "We wanted to go to Dallas (site of the Final Four). It was our dream, and the dream is broken, and life must go on for a lot of reasons." He added, "Redden was just great, and Taylor was too. ... We just could not stop them. We expected it would be tough, but we didn't expect them to shoot like that."
The victory propelled the Tigers into the Elite Eight two days later. They would play Kentucky for the right to go to the Final Four after UK beat Alabama for the fourth time during the season, 68-63. The Wildcats had beaten the Tigers all three times they met during the regular season.

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Tiger Den Basketball Archives – I
Tiger Firsts: Basketball Team | LSU National Champs | Joe Adcock | Pistol vs UCLA | Eddie Palubinskas | Dazzling Debut: Chris Jackson | Tiger Firsts: Final Four | Dale Brown Takes Over

Tiger Den Basketball Archives – II
BR Sports Academy | Four Little Points | Harry Rabenhorst | Shaq's 30-point SEC Game | Maravich's Freshman Circus | First AP Poll Ranking | The Dark Knight Strikes | Ricky Blanton | Tigers Are Back!

Tiger Den Basketball Archives – III
"Most Bizarre Set of Circumstances I Ever Saw" | Joe Dean | The Cow Palace | Still Playing at 41 | Pioneer | "It's the socks, Pete!" | Largest Deficit Overcome | Maravich Is for Real

Tiger Den Basketball Archives – IV
"Little Giant" | Shaquille O'Neal | Pete Breaks His Own Mark | What a Difference a Day Makes | When Lexington Went Wild over Beating the Tigers | Superdome Sizzlers

Tiger Den Basketball Archives – V
Pistol Pete Invades the Big Apple
Memorable Games: Kentucky 1978
Profile: Bobby Lowder
1938 SEC Tournament

Tiger Den Basketball Archives – VI
First Visit to the Big Apple
Don't Look Ahead
Profile: Bob Pettit I, II, III, IV
Pete's Farewell

Tiger Den Basketball Archives – VII
Season in Time: 2005-06

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