The LSU men's basketball team turned away a late Northwestern State rally and picked up a 102-95 victory Tuesday at the Maravich Center.
Anthony Hickey had a career night
The last time the Tigers eclipsed the century mark was versus Nicholls State back on Nov. 21, 2005 as all 10 LSU players who saw action scored a point.
“We scored 102 points, which I think is exciting,” head coach Johnny Jones said. “We gave up 95 points at home, which I think is really discouraging for us because I think we're a much better defensive basketball team. I think if we would have executed offensively, being at the free throw line, making our free throws, this game possibly could have been over with a lot sooner, a lot earlier.”
The Tigers went just 29-of-51 from the stripe and their inability to knock down free throws after building a 20-point lead allowed NSU to make it a lot more interesting heading down the stretch.
“We have great shooters on this team,” said Jones. “It's just a matter of seeing that ball go through the net, becoming more confident and that will happen. I am satisfied that we are able to sit here tonight with a victory and have to work those things out, instead of having a setback that the free throw line caused this tonight.”
LSU had four players register double figure points highlighted by Shavon Coleman's 22 points on 8-of-12 field goal attempts. He has now posted 20-plus points in back-to-back games, and the Thibodaux native also hauled in seven rebounds.
Anthony Hickey tacked on a career-best 21 points and equaled a career-high seven rebounds to go with a team-leading six assists and added five steals. Charles Carmouche also notched a career-high 19 points sparked by an 11-for-15 clip at the free throw line.
Johnny O'Bryant III returned to the lineup and turned in a solid all-around performance with 13 points and six rebounds in 19 minutes of action before fouling out late.
"I felt pretty good,” O’Bryant said. “My calf didn't really bother me. I still think I played a little rusty, but I only practiced two days. I think I did well. I tried to give my team whatever I could."
With LSU trailing 33-30 at the 4:23 mark of the first half, the Tigers ripped off a 22-5 spurt to turn the tables and grab a 52-38 advantage going into the locker room. Hickey ignited the run with 10 points on a pair of three-balls.
LSU pushed the lead out to 72-51 with 12:14 remaining in the second half on Malik Morgan's lay-up off a nice dish from Corban Collins. Morgan posted all six of his points during the second stanza and registered five steals.
NSU didn't go away and responded with a flurry of its own. The Demons pulled within four, at 90-86, on a DeQuan Hicks lay-up with 1:56 to go.
Out of the timeout and 10 seconds later, Eddie Ludwig provided his only basket of the game off a press breaker. LSU struggled at the foul line for most of the game but knocked 10-of-14 at the charity stripe over the final 91 seconds.
With the victory, the Tigers improved to 3-0 for the first time since the 2009-10 season. LSU also moved to 17-6 all-time versus Northwestern State with the series going back to the 1956-57 campaign.
Northwestern State was fueled by James Hulbin and DeQuan Hicks who ripped off 29 and 28 points, respectively.
LSU (3-0) buried 32-of-66 from the field en route to a 48.5 percent shooting clip, while Northwestern State (3-1) tallied a 32-of-65 shooting effort to claim a 49.2 percent ratio.
The Tigers continue their six-game homestand to start the 2012-13 campaign Saturday against Mississippi Valley State. Tip-off is slated for 7 p.m. from the Maravich Center, and the game will be carried live on Cox Sports Television.
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