LSU Men’s Basketball Falls to ETSU, 74-63

Geaux Nation
Will Wade

BATON ROUGE – East Tennessee State University outscored LSU 16-7 over the last 6:25 of the second half and went on to score a 74-63 win at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center on Wednesday night. 

The Tigers are now 7-3 and will travel to Los Angeles on Thursday for a Saturday game at the Staples Center against USC. With the win, ETSU is now 10-2 on the season. 

LSU and ETSU were tied at 22-22 on a Skylar Mays layup with 6:26 to go in the first half. ETSU scored the next seven points to go up 29-22 with 4:48 to go before halftime. ETSU led, 38-29, at intermission. 

 ETSU, the favorites in the Southern Conference, were able to keep the pressure on running off nine straight points early in the half, building as much as a 23-point advantage in the final 10 minutes. 

Emmitt Williams recorded another double double as he scored 16 points with 11 rebounds and two assists. Williams was 7-of-10 from the field, including a three-pointer and a free throw. Skylar Mays added 13 points and two assists in the game. 

Patrick Good scored 19 points to lead the Buccaneers with Bo Hodges scoring 13 and Jeromy Rodriguez 12 points (10 rebounds).

LSU shot 47.2 percent for the game (25-53) with seven made threes and 6-of-8 at the free throw line. ETSU shot 45.6 percent (31-68) with eight treys and 4-of-9 at the stripe. 

The Tigers were out rebounded, 40-29 and 19-7 on the offensive glass, leading to a 15-6 advantage in second chance points for ETSU. The Bucs had a 40-31 advantage in points in the paint and 16-12 in points off turnovers. LSU turned it over 15 times, compared to 10 for ETSU. 

Marlon Taylor saw his first action of the season, playing seven minutes and scoring two points. 

The game Saturday with USC, the second half of a Basketball Hall of Fame doubleheader at the Staples Center, is set for 8 p.m. CT and will be televised on the LSU Sports Radio Network and broadcast on the LSU Sports Radio Network. 

LSU vs. East Tennessee State Basketball Press Conference
December 18, 2019

LSU Head Coach Will Wade

Opening statement…
“Obviously a tough night. East Tennessee played tremendously. Give them credit. They had a great, great gameplan. They shrunk the paint on us and then they just pinned their ears back and killed us on the offensive glass. So kind of our two Achilles heels this year popped themselves back up. The turnover problem – we turned it over 15 times tonight. And then getting smashed on the glass like that – them getting 19 offensive rebounds. They got 15 more shots than we did. That really, really hurt us. It was just too much for us, ultimately to overcome.”

On how you can solve allowing those offensive rebounds…
“Well, we’ve been working on it. Our guards have to help us. We can’t ask much more from Emmitt (Williams). I mean, Emmitt got 11 rebounds. Emmitt did his job. (Darius) Days didn’t have his day. We’ve got to have more from Trendon (Watford), Javonte (Smart) and Skylar (Mays). We’ve got to have more from those guys. Those guys have got to help us. We’re just not that big down there and a lot of the rebounds were long rebounds that our guards have to get.”

On not being able to hold a lead in the first half…
“We got a bunch of stops, but we couldn’t get a rebound. That was the problem. We stopped them five or six straight times, but we couldn’t rebound the ball. We could never extend our lead and get ourselves a working margin.”

LSU Guard Skylar Mays

On what went wrong in the game…
“First off, ETSU is a quality team. They are well coached, they had a great game plan for us. Honestly, they played way harder than us tonight. Things went right for them and just didn’t go right for us.”

On figuring out everyone’s role on the team…
“It is a work in progress. We have a young group. We just have to keep chipping at the rock. We have a great coaching staff who is going to do the best they can to put us in the best position for everybody individually and as a team. But it starts with playing hard.”

LSU Forward Emmitt Williams

On the rebounding effort…
“I just try to do my job each and every game. If I am going to rebound, I am going to go in there and try to get each and every rebound. My teammates get me pumped up and I try to get them pumped up to get on the boards and crash.”

On the energy in the second half…
“I am that guy that brings the energy to the team. Even when I am on the bench or on the court, I try to bring energy to my guys even as a high five or a ‘good job.’ Even if I am not scoring the ball, I say ‘good shot.’ Those are the things that will help my teammates.”

ETSU Head Coach Steve Forbes

Getting the 50/50 ball and every loose ball…

“I thought we dominated the play-hard stats. I think we had 12 more shots than them in the first half, a lot of that was just getting loose balls and offensive rebounds. Just to give us a chance because we didn’t really shoot it great in the first half. I thought we missed some shots we normally make, and we stayed with it. The second half we told them that they’re going to make a run, they’re going to throw a punch and we’ve got to be able to take it. I thought we did, and we really did a great job of finding the open man when they started to press a little bit more, and we started to get really open shots and making them. I really liked the way our guys handled the game for forty minutes. It got a little tight there but it’s a little easier when you’re down, playing from behind, some of those shots go in, but I thought the game was never in doubt. I thought we did a great job finishing.”

The start of the second half always important…

“Right before we came out of the huddle, I switched up to the 1-3-1 and they turned it over. I thought maybe they’d come out at somebody with a drawn foul like they did the first play of the game when Emmitt Williams drove it and laid it up. I didn’t want them to be able to run what they had drawn up at halftime, so we went 1-3-1 and they turned it over. That kind of set the tone for the second half.”

(Press Release Provided by LSU Athletics)

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