LSU Basketball First Half Efforts Leads To 87-66 Win Over Lamar
Jalen Cook had a team-high 17 points.
BATON ROUGE – The LSU Tigers played a stellar 20 minutes to open the contest Thursday night and scored a convincing 87-66 win over Lamar at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.
The Tigers scored 45 first half points, forced 15 turnovers, had 10 assists and just four turnovers, grabbed 10 steals and posted a 16-0 advantage in points off turnovers in the opening 20 minutes to get a 45-26 halftime lead.
LSU is now 7-5 on the year, while Lamar fell to 5-7.
For the game, Jalen Cook, in his second game back at LSU and his first game on the home court, led the Tigers with 17 points and had five rebounds and five assists in 33 minutes. Carlos Stewart had one of his best efforts as a Tiger with 16 points with four treys and three assists. Jordan Wright had his ninth consecutive double figure game with 15 points and four steals and Will Baker got back in the double figure column with 12 points and eight rebounds.
Lamar was led by Ja’Sean Jackson with 14 points, while Terry Anderson and Jakevion Buckley each had 12 points and Chris Pryor scored 10 points.
For the game, LSU shot 43.1 percent (31-of-72) from the field with nine makes treys. Lamar was 26-of-60 from the field for 43.3 percent with six made threes.
LSU out rebounded the Cardinals, 44-38, and had 44 points in the paint.
LSU quickly took advantage of four consecutive Lamar turnovers to get a 13-4 advantage with 14:11 to go in the first half and pushed the advantage to 13 points at 25-12 with 9:36 left in the opening 20 minutes.
When the Tigers were scoring it was on fast breaks and efficient offensive possessions the lead increased as a 13-0 run pushed the margin to 41-20 in the final minutes of the first half.
LSU led by as much as 30 points with 10:52 to go in the contest.
The Tiger basketball team will be off for the Christmas break until mid-afternoon on Dec. 26 when practice will resume in preparation for the final non-conference game, Dec. 29, against Northwestern State in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.
POST GAME QUOTES
LSU Coach Matt McMahon
“Loved our energy and effort on the defensive side of the ball tonight. I thought our guys really came out locked in and played with a lot of intensity on that end of the floor. We forced 15 turnovers in the first half and had 10 steals, I just thought our overall effort there was terrific. It really brought a tear to my eye seeing 18 assists and only 11 turnovers. To be positive there, I know we got sloppy there at the end of the game, but overall, a good win for us. A good way to go into the break.”
On what contributed to the victory…
“We missed a lot of open threes, I thought we moved the ball and got the shots that we wanted to. We knew that was how they played. They do a good job swarming to the basketball on drives to take away a lot of your shots around the rim, so it led to open threes, obviously would have liked to shoot a higher percentage. A stat that has really hurt us early in this year is points off turnovers, it’s been a very negative stat for us and at halftime it was 15-to-0 in our favor, so not having the self-inflicted wounds on our offensive end and then on our defensive end, being able to some tempo and some mismatches. I thought the other key there was against the press in the first half, Jordan Wright and Jalen Reed on a couple of occasions did a good job of throwing over the top of the press and it and it led to some easy transition baskets as well.”
Lamar Coach Alvin Brooks
On the turnovers and how LSU took advantage of them…
“I think LSU did a good job. They are well coached and had their kids prepared. We pressured the basketball to control the pace of the game. In this case we wanted to slow them down and control the pace. We had 15 turnovers in the first half and that changed the momentum of the game. It kept us on our heels since we were playing behind the entire night. It’s hard to play with anyone when you turn the ball over that much. We shot a good percentage when we were able to take a good shot. It hurt us defensively because we were scrambling the whole time. We allowed too many live ball turnovers.”
On the adjustments for the second half…
“Well, our group never quits and we played hard, we did that until the very end. I thought the last 17 minutes, in that stretch we had two turnovers, so we played well down the stretch. We dug ourselves into too big of a hole and we could not get out of it. Against another team like this, it is going to be difficult. It is a good learning experience for us and for some of my guys, it is their first time playing in the lights of a big arena, an SEC team. I think some of them were a little spooked by that. I am accustomed to doing it on a regular basis, and it is my group’s first time in an environment like this and a team like this. I think it will help us prepare for conference play down the road, so that is the positive. Once they settle down, we will be good. We have been a good rebounding team. They had 17 offensive rebounds; we have not allowed 17 offensive rebounds all year. You could argue that they are a bigger team, but we have played against some big teams, such as SMU. I thought we were a little slow in our reactions, but you have to give them credit, they took advantage of that.”