BATON ROUGE – The No. 23 LSU Tigers found the offensive spurt and the defensive plays in the second half to score a 75-65 win over Nicholls Saturday afternoon at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.
The Tigers down as much as eight in the first half was down a point at halftime, but held the Colonels to just 9-of-30 (30 percent) in the second half while the Tigers were 14-of-27 from the field in the second half, outscoring Nicholls, 37-26, in the final 20 minutes.
LSU is now 2-1 going into a Tuesday night game with Maryland-Baltimore County at 6 p.m. (SECN, LSU Sports Radio Network). Nicholls fell to 2-2 on the young season.
Skylar Mays led LSU with 18 points with eight boards, three assists and four steals, while Darius Days had his first career double double with 17 points and 11 boards (six offensive). Trendon Watford had 17 points as well with Emmitt Williams getting his fifth career double double with 11 points and 12 rebounds.
Nicholls was led by Dexter McClanahan with 20 points, 18 of which came in the first half. D’Angelo Hunter had 15 points.
For the game, LSU shot an even 50 percent, 28-of-56, but only 3-of-18 from the arc (16.7%) and 16-23 from the charity stripe (16-23). Nicholls finished the game at 38.7 percent (24-62), making eight three-pointers and 9-of-11 at the stripe.
LSU had a 45-27 advantage on the boards, 46-26, in the paint and 18-7 on second chance points.
But for the third straight game turnovers haunted LSU, committing 25, evenly spread 13 in the first half and 12 in the second half. Unlike Wednesday when VCU got 37 points off 26 turnovers from LSU, Nicholls was only able to get 19 points off the 25 miscues.
LSU got up six in the first seven minutes in the game, but Nicholls which took Illinois to overtime and beat Pittsburgh on the road, took the lead on a nine-point run that would give them a 29-21 lead on a Lorenzo McGee dunk with 7:19 to go in the first half.
The Colonels would have that margin a couple of more times in the half before LSU went on a nine-point run of its own late in the half to take a 37-36 lead, before the teams went to the dressing rooms with Nicholls up, 39-38.
The Tigers took some control of the game with the game tied at 48-48 with 16:22 to play. Charles Manning Jr., hit a three and Days got a layup and a jumper to make it 55-48. Watford made two free throws and a Mays layup made it 58-48 with 12:10 to go.
Nicholls never got closer than six the rest of the game.
(Press Release Provided by LSU Athletics)