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LSU Men's Basketball Defeats Alabama State, 74-56

Mike Williams finished with a team-high 15 points.

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LSU Men's Basketball Defeats Alabama State, 74-56

BATON ROUGE – The LSU Tigers used a 19-3 run over a seven-minute period of the second half to rally from five down and take a 74-56 decision over the Hornets Wednesday night at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.

The Tigers, now 6-4 on the season, rallied from a 34-30 halftime deficit and a 40-35 disadvantage with 17:23 left in the game.

From there LSU began to assert itself offensively and defensively as well. After a made free throw and an offensive rebound, freshman Mike Williams III hit a three-pointer to put LSU down one, 40-39. ASU turned the ball over and Williams made a long jumper to give LSU the lead for good at 41-40 with 15:24 to play.

ASU missed a three and Williams countered on the other end with another made three to extend the lead after which Jalen Reed added one-of-two free throws to make it 45-40. The Hornets turned the ball over again and that led to a three-pointer again by Williams that made the advantage, 48-40, and a 13-0 run with 13:57 to play.

Alabama State would hit a three, but Jordan Wright countered with his own trey and Derek Fountain hit a distance shot of his own to complete the run and give LSU its first double digit lead at 54-45 with 9:56 to play.

The Tigers would also put a 9-0 run together late in the contest and their 18-point margin at the end was their largest of the game.

Ironically, on a night that the Wayde Sims Foundation was honored at halftime on what would have been Wayde Sims’ 26th birthday, the Tigers scored points that equaled the jersey number of both Wayde and his late father, Wayne, in the final 20 minutes – “44”.

Four Tigers were in double figures led by Mike Williams with 15 points with three treys and three assists. Both Jalen Reed and Jordan Wright had 13 points each. Reed drew eight fouls in the contest and had a team high seven boards, while Wright (who had his seventh consecutive double figure scoring game) had six assists and no turnovers in 36 minutes.

Trae Hannibal, playing with Williams at the guard position in the second half, had 11 points and three steals.

Antonio “TJ” Madlock had 18 points to lead Alabama State, while Isaiah Range added 15 and CJ Hines 13. Ubong Okon led all players with 14 rebounds.

LSU shot 52.1 percent for the game (25-48), highlighted by 15-of-26 (57.7%) in the second half. LSU was 9-of-23 from the arc (39.1%) and 15-of-23 from the free throw line. ASU made just 36.1 percent of their free throw attempts (22-of-61) including nine treys and 3-of-8 at the line.

LSU out rebounded Alabama State, 37-30 on the offensive end and got 22 points off the 13 Hornet turnovers.

LSU will travel to Houston Friday for an 11 a.m. game on Saturday against Texas in the Halal Guys Showcase presented by Gallery Furniture at the Toyota Center. The game will be broadcast on the LSU Sports Radio Network and televised by ESPN2.

Matt McMahon Press Conference

Hannibal, Williams Press Conference


Head Coach Matt McMahon
Opening Statement…
“I was really excited about our second-half performance there. I really loved the energy and the effort the guys came out of the locker room with. I thought that we were able to be a little more disruptive in our full-court pressure there and had some great individual performances from guys who really stepped forward and earned their time tonight. We can go through each of them, but I thought that Jordan Wright with six assists and zero turnovers was huge. Mike Williams III was really more aggressive to start the second half. I thought that he passed up some opportunities in the first half, got us going, and hit some big shots for us. That is the shooter I believe he is capable of being for us. Trae Hannibal’s energy and defensive effort was tremendous. Derek Fountain, Jalen Reed, I can go down the line. I thought that Hunter Dean came in and gave us a physical presence on the floor and was fantastic on the glass and his ball-screen coverage. All in all, a strong 20 minutes and something we hope to build on going forward.”

On second-half adjustments for Mike Williams III…
“There was nothing special, from a coach’s standpoint, but I really believe in him and I shared a few words with him before the start of the second half. As I mentioned, I thought he passed up some open looks and was a little tentative against the zone. I loved his aggressiveness on the offensive side of the ball, and his defense has been pretty consistent. I thought his offensive aggressiveness there, shooting the ball well from three, attacking off of the dribble, I thought he was fantastic.”

On Jalen Cook being cleared to play against Texas…
“That is our expectation. He will have two good days of preparation here, Thursday and Friday, and my understanding is that he is fully cleared and ready to go on Saturday. There was a lot of confusion throughout the afternoon and evening, and there was not much clarity in the right path. My understanding is he will be locked in and ready to go for Saturday, and I am really happy for him.”

Alabama State Head Coach Tony Madlock

On the team’s performance and some of their takeaways from this game…
“The first takeaway is that a basketball game is two halves. We did some good things in the first half that confused them a little bit. We made some plays and shots but in the second half, when the ball was away from our bench, we needed to do a better job at communicating.”

On LSU’s team and what they focused on when preparing for the game…
“We knew they were coming off a tough loss at home to Kansas State, so they were going to be fired up at the opportunity to get a win at home. We knew they were going to play well, and we came out playing well too, but the second half they came out and made shots. We didn’t do a good job defensively. They shot 52% for the game and 58% the second half. Those numbers are not good enough for us to win on the road. We needed to get more stops.”