BATON ROUGE – The LSU men’s basketball team played its best defensive game of the season and performed offensively well enough to score an 86-55 win over Louisiana Tech Sunday night at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.
The Tigers, 3-1 on the season, outscored the Bulldogs, 43-24, in the first half and never allowed LA Tech (3-1) to get closer than 14 points in the second half before pushing their way to the final margin.
Through four games, LSU has averaged 89.3 points a game, posting 94, 81, 96 and 86 points a contest.
Five players were in double figures for LSU with Trendon Watford hitting 10-of-12 from the free throw line in scoring 18 points while Javonte Smart had 16 points with four treys and Cameron Thomas had 16 as well. Darius Days added 12, hitting three first half treys that helped propel LSU to the big lead, while Jalen Cook came off the bench to get 10.
Cook missed Monday night’s game with a minor injury but played 13 minutes against the Bulldogs.
Watford and Days both had eight rebounds with Smart pulled down six more.
Louisiana Tech was led by Kenneth Lofton, Jr., who powered up 17 points and pulled down 12 rebounds (six offensive).
LSU for the fourth straight game made over 50 percent from the field at 54.2 percent (26-48) after shooting 60.9% in the second half (14-of-23). LSU hit 8-of-20 treys and 26-of-34 three-pointers. Louisiana Tech hit just 28.8 percent (19-of-66) and five treys and was just 12-of-25 at the free throw line.
LSU out rebounded the Bulldogs, 46-33, but Tech did have a 14-4 advantage on the offensive glass leading to 13 second chance points.
The game was close through the first five minutes and was tied at 8-8 when Days made the second and third of his back-to-back three-pointers that gave LSU a 14-8 advantage. A Days turnaround jumper made it 20-10 at the 9:34 mark of the first half and the Tigers would push it to 17 at 31-14 on a Cook three-pointers at the 5:56 mark and to 21 on a couple of Thomas free throws.
In the second half, Tech went on an 11-2 run that cut LSU’s 23-point advantage to 14, 57-43, at the 10:08 mark.
But in the next 90 seconds, LSU would get four buckets, including one from Charles Manning Jr., that would take the lead back to 22 and ended any threat by the Bulldogs.
LSU players will mix practice and semester exams this week as the Tigers get ready for the Holiday Hoopsgiving day of games at State Farm Arena in Atlanta on Saturday. LSU is scheduled to face South Florida at 1:30 p.m. CT.
Also, Coach Wade will host his weekly radio show Monday night at 7 p.m. at TJ Ribs on Acadian Thruway. The show is broadcast on the affiliates of the LSU Sports Radio Network.
(Press Release Provided by LSU Athletics)