Tigers Complete Sweep of Canada Tour, 82-55
TORONTO, Canada — The LSU Tigers basketball team faced some different challenges in its final game of its three-game exhibition tour of schools in the Toronto area.
First, they had to play at 11 a.m. EDT, their third game in some 40 hours. Secondly, they would play a Toronto team that won 26 games a year ago that decided to play zone for 40 minutes no matter the score, something LSU had not seen on the tour.
But the Tigers overcame early adversity in both halves and responded well to win going away, 82-55, to return to Baton Rouge late Monday night with a 3-0 record on the tour.
The Tigers were led in scoring and rebounding by junior college All-American transfer Marcus Thornton who had 29 points and 10 rebounds in 29 minutes with five three pointers. Anthony Randolph added 13 points in 22 minutes and Chris Johnson off the bench had 12 points and three blocks in 22 minutes.
Toronto was led by the 22 points of Rob Paris, who also hit five treys, while Ahmed Nazmi added 14 with Paul Sergautis netting 12.
LSU shot 42.9 percent from the field (33-77) for the game and 7-of-28 from the arc, but held the Varsity Blues of Toronto to 30 percent from the field (21-70). The Tigers had 17 assists and 11 turnovers and out rebounded Toronto by an impressive 63-31, getting 23 offensive boards.
LSU missed its first three shots and five of its first six while getting its offense on track against the zone of Toronto. The Blues jumped out to a 5-0 lead on a bucket by Paris and a three-pointer by Sergautis. That lead went to 9-2 when John Brady called time out to get his team in sync at the 17:10 mark.
From there, LSU began to get its offense on track, tying the game at 12 on a Terry Martin bucket at the 13:25 mark, mark of a 12-0 run that put LSU up for good, 17-12, before Toronto scored again.
“It was a little different type of game,” said Brady. “The first two teams played us man-to-man and this team was committed to playing zone for 40 minutes no matter what the score was. It was good for us to be able to work against the zone even though we don’t have our entire zone package in right now. There are still five or six things we are going to add to our zone offense. But we did a pretty good job with it. We’ve got some guys that can shoot the ball a little bit and operating against the zone with shooters makes it a little easier than if you don’t. It was good for us to see.”
The Tigers showed some of the flashes of speed that they used in the first two games to gradually build the lead up against the pesky Blues and led at the half, 45-27.
But Toronto came out of the dressing room with a rush after the intermission as Paris himself outscored LSU, 10-2 to cut the margin to 48-38 with 17:02 to play. Paris and Sergautis was the offense for Toronto as they eventually cut the margin to seven, 56-49, with 14 minutes to play.
LSU stepped up its defense and outscored Toronto, 26-7, the rest of the game for the final margin.
“This has been a great trip for us,” said Brady. “We had a great week of practice that we’ve had. These three games have told us a lot about our team. We’ve been identify some strengths and weaknesses. It is going to put us ahead of where we normally are there is no doubt about it.”
“It was a great trip for us to take,” said Tasmin Mitchell, who played both the perimeter and post positions during the three games. “Everybody has gotten to know each other and get our mind right and concentrate on basketball. I like this team. I like how we are running and passing the basketball. It’s a positive thing for us.”
The Tigers will take Tuesday off to get back in the swing of classes before beginning off-season work in preparation for the start of pre-season practice on Oct. 12.
“We’ll start Wednesday with weights and conditioning and then we will start next Monday with our workouts with four or five guys at a time. We will be able to create some details and a sense of urgency as to how we want to guard in that way. By the time practice starts in October, we will be so much farther ahead with this group.”
Mitchell 4-10, 0-3, 1-1 9; Randolph 4-13, 0-0 5-6 13; Marcus Thornton 12-20, 5-11, 0-0 29; Martin 3-12, 2-6, 0-0 8; Farrer 0-3, 0-3, 0-0 0; Mason 4-6, 0-0, 1-1 9; Terrebonne 0-0, 0-0, 0-0 0; Spencer 0-7, 0-5, 0-0 4; Johnson 5-5, 0-0, 2-3 12; Quintin Thornton 1-1, 0-0, 0-0 2. Totals: 33-77, 7-28, 9-11 82.
Sergautis 5-12, 2-5, 0-0 12; Paris 8-18, 5-13, 1-1, 22; Magalas 0-14, 0-5, 0-0 0; Nazmi 5-13, 0-1, 4-6, 14; M. DeGiorgio 1-4, 0-2, 1-1, 3; A. DeGiorgio 1-1, 0-0, 0-0 2; Thomas 0-1, 0-0, 0-0 0; Holmes 0-1, 0-0, 0-0 0; Magalas 0-1, 0-1, 0-0 0; Wasik 1-5, 0-0, 0-0 2; Glisic 0-0, 0-0, 0-0 0. Totals: 21-70, 7-27, 6-8 55.
Halftime score: LSU 45, Toronto 27. FG Pct: LSU 42.9; Toronto 30.0; 3FG Pct: LSU 25.0; Toronto 25.9; FT: LSU 81.8%; Toronto 75.0. Rebounds: LSU 63 (M. Thornton 10); Toronto 31 (Nazmi 8); Assists: 17 (Martin 7); Toronto 13 (M. DeGiorgio 6); Turnovers: LSU 11, Toronto 8. Blocks LSU 4 (Johnson 3); Toronto 1 (Nazmi). Steals: LSU 2 (Mitchell, Johnson 1); Toronto 6 (Magalas 3).