The LSU Tigers had their best pre-New Year's crowd in 21 seasons, but the Tigers couldn't reward their fans with a win, falling to Wake Forest 77-71 before 12,104 at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center Tuesday night.

The Tigers trailed 34-29 at the half, but battled back to lead 51-46 with 8;31 left.  LSU still led, 55-51 with 6:02 remaining, but Wake Forest took the lead for good, 62-60 after a three point basket by Dinos Mitoglou with 3:29 left.  The Demon Deacons increased their lead to as many as eight points, 72-64, with :53 remaining.

Ben Simmons led LSU with 21 points and 12 rebounds.  Craig Victor added 19 points and Keith Hornsby chipped in 12.

Bryant Crawford led Wake with 19 points, while Devin Thomas scored 16 and Mitoglou scored 13.

Wake is 9-3 on the season.  LSU is 7-5 and will open SEC play at Vanderbilt on Saturday.