Men's Basketball Tops ULL, 66-58

by Kent Lowe (@LSUkent)
Box Score +0
Men's Basketball Tops ULL, 66-58

BATON ROUGE — For the second straight season, Tasmin Mitchell had a big scoring game and Storm Warren put together his fourth double double as LSU was able to put away Louisiana Lafayette late Tuesday night at the Maravich Assembly Center by a score of 66-58.

Mitchell, who had 25 against the Cajuns last year, scored a season-high 26 points for the 4-2 Tigers and also recorded his 17th career double double by grabbing 10 boards. Warren had his fourth double double in six games this season with 18 points and a career high 16 boards, including seven offensive rebounds. He leads the Southeastern Conference in offensive rebound average at 5.6 a game.

Bo Spencer, back after sitting out the Arizona State game in New York with a sprained ankle, did not start but came off the bench to play 32 minutes and added 14 points.

Travis Bureau led the Ragin Cajuns with 10 points. Tyren Johnson and Randell Daigle, who were each averaging 13.8 points per game, were held to six and five points, respectively. The Cajuns fell to 1-4.

There were six ties in the game and all 13 lead changes took place in the first half as LSU closed on a 12-2 run to take a 28-23 lead at the intermission.

LSU built the lead to seven points twice in the first four minutes of the second half, but the Ragin Cajuns came back to tie the game for the final time at 43-43 with 10:05 to go on a three-pointer by Lamar Roberson.

The Tigers then went on an 11-2 run over the next 5-plus minutes to go up 54:45 with 4:20 to go. But the Cajuns just wouldn’t go away and had the game down to 54-52 two minutes later. But LSU made key free throws and got a three-pointer by Mitchell to put the game away.

The Tigers were 15-18 at the free throw line in the second half and 19-of-28 for the game. The Cajuns, averaging 20-plus free throw makes a game, was just 8-of-11 for the night and the Tigers out rebounded Louisiana-Lafayette, 45-28.

LSU will now enter the school-mandated concentrated study period and will mix practice time along with studies as final exams begin on the campus Monday. The next LSU game will be on Saturday, Dec. 12 against Northwestern State at 7 p.m.

LSU HEAD COACH TRENT JOHNSON QUOTES

Opening statement …
“Well it was 66 and 58. Forty-five to 28 on the glass, 19 out of 28 from the free throw line and Tasmin (Mitchell) had his best game of the year, 26 and 10. Storm (Warren) went 18 and 16. You’d think we’d all be happy. Well, we were sluggish. Our inability to take care of the ball at times was mindboggling. The good thing about it is that we were able to win, and we are off for two days. We are going to lift weights on December 3 and concentrate on finals. We have to get some guys healthy, and then we will get back in the gym and practice.”

On ULL pressuring F Tasmin Mitchell
“Well, I just told him to relax and play. He internalizes so much. What you guys see is the exterior in terms of his smile and passion, but he struggles with losing. It was good to see him relax. Going into the locker room, he was the first guy whose face I saw. He was visibly frustrated because he knew we weren’t playing very well. I told him, ?Look we’ll get back on track. Enjoy this one. We won.’ I have them out of rhythm. I have to do something to get them in rhythm so the practice time will be good.

“I thought Eddie Ludwig helped us. He does a lot of little things that are big things that go unnoticed. He doesn’t score or do any flashy plays, but he gets his hands on loose balls and passes and catches. We can run offense through him at the four and allow Tasmin to stay at the three.”

On his postgame talk to the team …
“I talked about our casualness. We were sloppy, but we managed to win in the end. Whether you are in New York for a week, or you have guys that are banged up, I told them, ?In the back of your mind, don’t make excuses for playing bad basketball.’ I know for a fact, out of the 13 turnovers, there were probably seven of them that were casual and bad decisions. Again, we just have to pick it up.”

On Storm Warren‘s performance…
“I think Storm had a strength advantage. Obviously, when Tasmin is playing like that, guys have to double down on him more or shade him a guy and half. That opens up some lanes for Storm. Storm was five for 11, but he probably missed three or four put backs where he tried to do too much. There were two times where he tried to dunk the ball when he just needed to get the basket and get out of there. Being able to play through 39 minutes and not get in foul trouble, that’s a good night.”

LSU PLAYER QUOTES

Forward Tasmin Mitchell

Opening statement…
“I’m glad we got the victory today, coming back from a two-game winning streak. I don’t think we played great basketball. That’s no excuse, but we won. That’s all that matters. I think we just have to get better, go to practice, come back with a sense of urgency and play with more intensity.”

On getting some open looks tonight…
“I think it was OK thanks to my teammates, who made it possible for me to get the open looks that I got. I think it was just me all along. I was just playing with too much pressure on me. I just have to go out there, relax and play within myself, no matter what the defense does.”

Forward Storm Warren

Opening statement…
“We just have to accept the win, come back to practice, work on it and build and keep going.”

On his double-double effort…
“I really started off converting back to my old habits, but I’m glad I have great teammates. Bo (Spencer), Tasmin (Mitchell) and Chris (Bass) had to take me to the side and talk to me for a minute and get me to calm down, relax, take my time, get back in position and play my game.”

Guard Chris Bass

Opening statement…
“We didn’t come out with the energy coach Johnson wanted us to, but we did what we were supposed to do. We got the win. It was kind of ugly, but a win is a win.”

Guard Bo Spencer

Opening statement…
“Like my teammates said, we came out and played hard, but we didn’t get it together. We had a few defensive breakdowns, but we also had a few offensive breakdowns. It was pretty ugly. It’s an ugly win. They are a really scrappy team and long and athletic. We just have to come back. We have about a week and a half off (from competition). We have to come back hard at practice.”

UL-LAFAYETTE POSTGAME QUOTES

Head Coach Robert Lee

Opening statement…
“I thought the energy and effort our team played with was outstanding. Tasmin (Mitchell) and Storm (Warren) are very difficult for us to keep off the offensive glass. Because they got to the offensive glass a lot more than we did, we fouled too much. They got 28 free throws and made 19, and that’s where the difference in the basketball game was.

On Tasmin Mitchell‘s performance…
“Tasmin is a guy that really wills his team to victory, especially when the game is close. He always will come up and make a play or make a shot. Tasmin’s an outstanding basketball player, and that’s what good players do. They make plays.”

On Storm Warren‘s game-high 16 rebounds tonight…
“Storm has improved so much from a year ago. Inside, he’s really difficult for our basketball team. His ability to offensively rebound the ball was a big key in their victory tonight.”

Forward Tyren Johnson

On the team’s effort tonight…
“I was happy with how we played for the most part because we took care of the ball. We cut down on a lot of turnovers, which we need first and foremost. Our energy level was up. We played good defense. For the most part, I was really happy with the way we played.”

On rebounding against Tasmin Mitchell and Storm Warren
“Going against Tasmin, he was more versatile. He’ll linger around the perimeter and then catch you down low. It took a whole lot more energy trying to box him out. Storm was just a monster. He did a good job. Both of them did a good job. They crashed the boards every time. Even at the end of the game, with a minute left, they were still crashing the boards. They played real good.”