Da Boot Sports
LSU Sports Information
By: LSU Staff
NICEVILLE, Florida – With the clock running under a minute left Saturday night in the Emerald Coast Classic championship game, the LSU crowd of close to 1,000, which for two nights was turning Raider Arena at Northwest Florida State into a Tiger home court began chanting, “L-S-U, L-S-U, L-S-U!”
The celebration had begun as another goal was checked off the Will Wade program at LSU – a regular-season bracketed tournament championship as the Tigers used a 15-0 run in the first half to get the lead for good and defeated previously undefeated Wake Forest, 75-61.
The Tigers are now 7-0 with a trophy in hand in one of these early season bracketed events for the first time since 2004. LSU plays Wednesday night at 7 p.m. against Ohio in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.
LSU has won the first seven games of the season for the first time since the 2008-09 SEC Championship season. Wake Forest fell to 6-1.
Freshman center Efton Reid scored 14 points on 7-of-8 shooting while senior Darius Days added 12 and Eric Gaines had 11 points as did Alex Fudge, who also had nine rebounds. Xavier Pinson had nine points, five assists and seven steals.
Daivien Williamson scored 20 for Wake Forest while Alondes Williams scored 14. Dallas Walton had 10 rebounds for the Demon Deacons.
Based on the two games, Days and Tari Eason, who scored 20 against Penn State and nine in the championship game, were named to the all-tournament team with Eason named the tournament MVP.
Wake Forest was able to get the advantage on LSU with an 11-6 lead going into the second media timeout.
But coming out of that TV intermission, the Tiger system kicked in with good offense, and defense that led to more offense.
Reid got LSU started with a bucket and off a Wake miss, Eason hit a jumper to cut the deficit to 11-10. After a turnover, Eason was fouled and made two free throws to give LSU the lead for good at 12-11.
Reid on the defensive end blocked a shot and then after Wake got the offensive board, they turned it over and on the other end that led to a three-pointer by Brandon Murray to make the advantage for LSU, 15-11.
Pinson and Fudge would add three-pointers to push the margin to 21-10 at the next media timeout some four minutes later.
Wake Forest would cut the game to two with 4:09 to go in the first half, but LSU finished on a 10-2 run to go to the dressing room up, 31-21.
Only once in the first four minutes of the second half did Wake Forest get the game under double figures the rest of the way.
LSU for the game shot just under 46 percent (27-of-59) with five treys and an impressive 16-of-17 at the free throw line. Wake Forest was held to just 31 percent (18-58) with six treys and 19-of-23 at the line. LSU outrebounded Wake Forest 34-33 with a 44-22 advantage on points in the paint. Wake Forest was forced into 22 turnovers which led to 18 points off turnovers. LSU also had a 21-5 advantage in fast break points.
LSU’s biggest lead of 19 points came at the 7:39 mark of the second half.
LSU Head Coach Will Wade Quotes
“Great win. We haven’t won one of these in over 15 years, so that was huge for us. Thank our fans who came, we had a home-court advantage on both days. When we come out and they’re chanting ‘L-S-U,’ that gives us a big boost. Really appreciative of them for coming out and spending their Thanksgiving weekend with us. Our guys played hard on a short prep. We did as well as we could’ve done in terms of preparation. It was all about playing harder than the other team and being feistier and tougher. I thought we were that today. Credit to our guys, [Darius] Days got us off to a good start. Tari [Eason] was consistent all tournament. Alex Fudge was a difference-maker for us today. He got us going in the first half, especially on the offensive end. He was uber-efficient, 11 and 9, hit the three in transition, he was cutting, moving. He was a huge piece for us today. [Xavier] Pinson obviously with seven steals too.
On moving forward …
“… We have a lot of stuff we have to correct. I’m as uptight as anybody, but we’ll have all the stuff corrected by Monday. We’re going to enjoy this, we haven’t done this in a long time. We’re off to a great start. We have to finish it off on Wednesday and finish up our first portion of our non-conference schedule, so we’ll get back to work on Monday. Lots of stuff to correct from Penn State, lots to correct from Wake Forest. We’ll put it all to rest tomorrow.”
On the importance of the tournament win …
“This is something we haven’t been very good in. We’ve got fans that come to all these tournaments and spend their hard-earned money and we need to pay them back by winning some of these. We also needed to win it for ourselves too. Our program has come a long way in five years. This was one of the final steps. We don’t have a lot of other firsts left to do. We’ve done a lot of firsts in the program in the first five years.”
Da Boot Sports
LSU Sports Information
By: LSU Staff
NICEVILLE, Florida – On a night when scoring wasn’t happening as much as it had been the first five games of the season, the Tigers used defense, rebounds and free throws to gut out a 68-63 overtime victory over Penn State Friday night in the semifinals of the Emerald Coast Classic at Raider Arena at Northwest Florida State College.
LSU is now 6-0 for the first time since the 2012-13 season.
The Tigers will play in the championship game on Saturday night at 6 p.m. CT against another 6-0 team in Wake Forest, an 80-77 winner over Oregon State, also in overtime, in the other semifinal.
The game will be broadcast on the CBS Sports Network and broadcast locally on Guaranty Media affiliate 100.7 FM The Tiger because of football coverage on Eagle 98.1 FM. The game will be available online at LSUsports.net/live and on the LSU Sports Mobile App.
LSU shot 34.8 percent for the game, 24-of-69, and just 28 percent in the first half. But LSU dominated on the offensive glass, 17-8, was able to stay even on second chance points with the Nittany Lions and get a 21-5 advantage on points off turnovers. LSU forced 16 Penn State turnovers while the Tigers committed under 10 turnovers for the first time this season (7).
Senior Xavier Pinson gave LSU a chance to win in regulation when he scored on a three-pointer with 35 seconds to play. Both teams turned it over giving Penn State a final shot to tie or win. Darius Days would foul with LSU having a foul to give with 4.6 seconds left leaving Penn State with little time to make their attempt.
First Myles Dread missed a three, Seth Lundy got the offensive rebound and the ball was tipped in by Lundy to force overtime with 0.6 remaining.
In the overtime, LSU scored the first six points on two Tari Eason free throws, a Pinson floating jumper and two more Easton free throw to make it 64-58 with 3:14 to play. Penn State made a three-pointer and after a miss by LSU, Sessions got a layup to cut the LSU lead to 64-63 with 2:03 to go in overtime.
Eason went back to the line on the next possession and made one of two free throws but LSU controlled the ball on the second shot miss. Pinson was fouled and got one free throw to push the LSU lead back to three with 1:37 left.
Penn State’s Lundy missed a dunk and a second chance jump shot. Penn State got the offensive board again but on the drive by Lundy, Efton Reid drew the charge 1:02 remaining.
The Tigers failed to score and Penn State called a timeout with 9 seconds to play getting one final shot. Jaheam Cornwall’s three-pointer against LSU’s defense was missed, East was fouled and made two free throws in the final five seconds to ice the game and send LSU into its first championship game of a bracketed tournament since 2004.
Eason had seven of LSU’s 10 points in overtime and 20 for the game to go with nine rebounds. Eason was 10-of-12 at the free throw line. Pinson scored 15 points as the only player in double figures.
LSU has now won in back to back games when Darius Days did not score in double figures, breaking a streak that started at the beginning of the 2020-21 season. Days had eight points and six rebounds.
Penn State now 3-2, was led by Jalen Pickett with 14 points, while Sessoms had 13 points and 10 rebounds and Myles Dread had 11. John Harrar, who was averaging a double double was held to seven points and seven rebounds.
The Nittany Lions made 12 three-pointers while LSU had just four. LSU was 16-of-21 at the free throw line compared to Penn State just 3-of-6. LSU outrebounded Penn State, 42-35.
Penn State led by as many was five in the game and three at the intermission, 29-26. LSU’s biggest lead was the first six points in overtime. The game had seven lead changes and five ties.
LSU COACH WILL WADE
On his thoughts on the game…
“It was a great game. Two good teams, really physical. They played a Big 10 style of game with their physicality. They’re going to be a very good team. They did some things differently than other teams we’ve played, they forced us to change up some things offensively. Our defense and rebounding bailed us out. We haven’t been able to say that very often, but defensive rebounding bailed us out and especially offensive rebounding with how many shots we missed.”
On earning an OT win…
“We’re going to have to win games like that. That’s how it’s going to be in the SEC, that’s how it’s going to be when you play these types of teams. We talk about six-minute games and executing. We had some opportunities, even at the end there, we messed some things up but that last inbounds play where they tipped it in at the end of regulation, we couldn’t have guarded that any better. We switched it out, Mwani [Wilkinson] got his hand on the ball, the ball went through [Darius] Days’ hand. We couldn’t have guarded that stuff any better. I thought our guys did some good things with that. We have to continue to clean up some of those details.
On Tari Eason…
“He was tremendous. He was able to drive the ball and get on the offensive glass. He led us in offensive rebounding, went 10 of 12 from the free-throw line, knocked down his free-throws. He did a really nice job.”
Da Boot Sports
By: Terrill J. Weil
BATON ROUGE, LA: LSU improves to 5-0 as they dominated the Belmont Bruins 83-53 on Monday night in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.
LSU again started slow as they fell behind 7-0, not scoring until four minutes into the contest. The Tigers would begin to pull away halfway through the half to take a 36-23 lead into the locker room at the break.
The Tigers turned up their intensity in the second half, playing dominating defense, and began to pull away quickly as
they owned the boards on both ends of the floor, scoring on several fast break opportunities and second chance points.
Brandon Murray and Tari Eason both lead the Tigers with 15 points each on the night. Xavier Pinson had a great first half, finishing with 14 points. Efton Reid was a force under the basket scoring 12 points while grabbing 9 rebounds. Darius Days finished the game with 9 points and 7 rebounds, and Eric Gaines continued his solid play contributing 8 points.
LSU finished the game shooting 32-59 from the floor for a healthy 54%, while finishing 6-19 from behind the three point arc for 32%. The Tigers also did a solid job on the boards, outrebounding the Bruins 42-31, while forcing 16 Belmont turnovers.
The Bruins controlled the opening tip and would draw a quick personal foul on Xavier Pinson. Nick Muszynski gave Belmont a 1-0 lead as he sank one of two charity shots. The Tigers continued to make it a habit of starting games off slow, as they began the contest ice cold finding themselves fall behind 7-0 at the 16:45 mark.
LSU finally got on the board when Brandon Murray sank a three point jumper, that would ignite a 9-0 run to take their first lead, 9-7 with 13:38 left on the clock.
Belmont answered quickly to tie the game at 9-9, but the Fighting Tigers were wide awake as they would go on another 9-0 run to grab an 18-9 advantage. After a Bruins' basket, Xavier Pinson got hot and scored seven straight points, extending LSU's lead to 25-11 at the 7:47 mark.
LSU slowly began to take a firm control of the contest over the next five minutes as the Tigers outscored the Bruins 8-5, increasing their lead to 17 points, as we stood at 33-17 with 3:10 left in the first half.
Ben Sheppard hit a three pointer at the buzzer for the Bruins, as LSU would lead 36-23 at the half.
The Tigers started the second half strong, opening with a 7-0 run over the first three minutes to build a 20 point lead, 43-23. With 13:03 left, LSU still led by 20 points, 50-30, then shifted into another gear, going on a 16-2 run to grab a 66-32 lead at the 9:01 mark.
LSU continued to suffocate the Bruins with tenacious defensive, forcing turnovers, while scoring on several fast
With his Tigers leading 81-42, Will Wade began to pull the starters, emptying the bench with 4:25 left in the contest....
“Great win, great effort from our guys." Wade said. "We got off to a little bit of a slow start and had a few mistakes. Our offense was a little clanky to start the game. We are really proud of our guys, their urgency and discipline. I thought the crowd was phenomenal; the crowd got into it. The students were here right before Thanksgiving, the guys that didn’t go home, that was awesome. Belmont is a really good offensive team; top-25, top-30 offensively in the country. I thought we did a really nice job swarming the ball and blocking shots. Our whole key was to win in the paint. Their three’s get a lot of notoriety, they just are just bludgeon the paint. Number 33 (Nick Muszynski) is a load down in the paint, 6-11, 7-5 wingspan and we did a great job on him. Kept him from throwing their mountain stuff over the top. Our guys did an unbelievable job. They were disciplined, and they were focused on him."
Wade would go on to add... "I think Xavier (Pinson) played great to get us going in the first half and picked up our offense. What more can you say about Tari Eason, he brings it every game. Brings his lunch pale. He’s talented and he makes things happen. I love the fact that he missed that dunk, but he came right back, gets another steal and goes and dunks it again. It’s very impressive, it’s awesome. I tell him all the time, if you are going to make a mistake, make an aggressive mistake. He was all frustrated and I told him that was an aggressive mistake, we don’t care about that. Just keep going all out. I thought he did a really nice job. Brandon Murray was tremendous. He made some shots and so I’m just proud of our guys. I can say it now, because it sounds like an excuse, but we have been sick. We had a lot of guys out for a couple days, we had some guys really step up as well. Two or three starters that have not been right. We had to put IV’s in and one of them missed practice for two days. I don’t want it to sound like an excuse if we had lost, but we had some guys step up and make things happen. Just a great win and we have to turn the page."
Wade then talked about this upcoming weekend.. "I think we have been awful; in these early season tournaments, we haven’t won one of these since we’ve been here. We’ve won a lot of games. We’ve done a lot of stuff. We’ve been horrific in these early season tournaments. We came in and got beat by Florida State in overtime. We got beat by Utah State. We have just not been good. This is another thing we have to get right. We have to go to Destin and be locked in. We have to be ready for Penn State on Friday night at six o’clock, because quite frankly this is one area we have to approve in if we want to be the program that we want to be. That was the message to the team and that’s going to be the message for the next couple days as we get ready to go the Destin.”
The Tigers head to Destin, Florida to compete in the Emerald Classic. LSU will face Penn State first on Friday, Nov. 26 at 6:00pm CST. before facing either Oregon State or Wake Forest on Saturday, Nov. 27... TBA
LSU will then return home to host Ohio in the Maravich Center on Wednesday, Dec. 1 at 7:00pm....
Photo Below By: Michael Bacigalupi
Da Boot Sports
By: Terrill J. Weil
BATON ROUGE, LA: LSU improved to 4-0 on the season with a 85-46 blowout victory over the McNeese Cowboys on Thursday night in the Maravich Assembly Center.
Tai Eason and Darius Days both finished the contest with a double-double. Eason scored 19 points while grabbing 14 rebounds, while Days finished with 14 points with 10 rebounds. Several Tigers played and got involved in the scoring as LSU picked up steam to dominate halfway through the first half after another sloppy start.
The Cowboys controlled the opening tip but turn it over on a travel, allowing LSU to get on the board first as Efton Reid would hit a nice jump shot for an early 2-0 lead. Three minutes later Harwin Francois helped put McNeese on the board hitting a three point jumper cutting the score to 4-3, as both teams showed early offensive struggles.
LSU would begin to heat up at the 15:10 mark going on a 11-2 run over the next two minutes, taking a 15-5 advantage with 12:43 left in the first half.
McNeese responded with a 5-0 run of their own to pull to within 15-10 as the Tigers would fall back into sloppy offensively play.
Leading 17-10 with 8:53 left on the clock, Tari Eason would pop a three pointer, followed by a fast break layup by Brandon Murray, who also drew a foul on the play, hitting the free throw to extend the LSU lead to 23-10 at the 7:34 mark.
Despite their sloppy offensive start, LSU continued to play solid defense causing several turnovers and missed shots by the Cowboys, keeping them scoreless over the last six plus minutes.
LSU finally started to play with a better flow, going on a 19-0 run over the last seven minutes to take a 34-10 lead with 3:49 left in the half.
McNeese would finally break their seven minute scoreless streak hitting back to back three point jumpers to pull to within 34-16. But the Tigers continued to flex their muscles finishing the first half off with a 9-0 run to lead 43-16 at the half.
Tari Eason would lead the Tigers at the half with 11 points and 8 rebounds. Darius Days and Brandon Murray both scored 7 each in the first half, While Xavier Pinson and Eric Gaines contributed 5 each.
After the slow start, the Tigers finished the first 20 minutes shooting 17-39 from the floor for 44%, while going 4-14 from behind the arc for 29%. LSU's defense was suffocating in the first half, holding McNeese to 6-31 fro the floor for 19% while forcing 15 turnovers.
The Tigers picked up where they left off to start the second half, outscoring the Cowboys 7-6 over the first five minutes to lead by 28, ... 50-22.
With LSU up 60-27 at the 12:01 mark, Will Wade would decide to give some bench players some minutes and work on his full court pressure which gave the outmanned Cowboys fits, as LSU would go on a 8-3 run the next four minutes to extend their lead to 68-30.
Wade would give nice minutes to the team reserves, emptying the bench with 8 minutes left in the contest, with LSU taking a 71-32 advantage into the officials timeout break.
The bench players played well over the final six minutes as the Tigers would finish of McNeese, 84-46 to go 4-0 on the season.
**Coach Will Wade Post Game Quotes::
“Good win, better start. We did a better job on the backboards. Not a good enough job on the turnovers.”
On the start of the game...
“We got up 10-2. There was a lull on offense. It was our offense more than our defense, turning the ball over. Did it bother me? Yes, everything bothers me.”
On Tari Eason...
“It took five minutes of watching film on him to know how good he was. I was stunned by how talented he is and now everyone else is beginning to see his talent. He’s had three double doubles in four games. He’s just a work horse. He’s a diligent worker.”
Up next the Tigers will host Belmont on Monday, Nov. 22 at 7:00pm in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center. Grab your tickets and come out to watch these exciting young men play LSU Basketball... GEAUX TIGERS!!!
Photos Below By: Jonathan Mailhes
Da Boot Sports
By: Jordan Taylor
BATON ROUGE, LA: Will Wade and his Tigers would have their first true test of the season on Monday night, as they would welcome the 1-0 Liberty Flames. Coming off their contest against Texas State in which they played a very sloppy first half, LSU will look to have a better early start against a very good Flames team who brings in one of the nations best three point shooters.
This game started with LSU winning the opening tip, but it was the Flames who got on the board early as Blake Preston got the scoring started with a dunk to put Liberty up 2-0. LSU would again open up shooting cold as it would take nearly three minutes before they got on the board thanks to a layup by Efton Reid.
Trailing 5-2 the Tigers would battle back thanks to some strong defensive energy, making multiple steals that would lead to a 9-0 run over the next three minutes, as they would take a 11-5 lead at the 13:02 mark.
Will Wade needed to go to the bench early as Reid committed two early fouls. Tari Eason and Eric Gaines entered the contest bringing a huge spark off the bench.
Liberty would outhustle and outrebounded LSU throughout the first half as the Flames would go on a 19-9 run, to hold a 24-20 advantage with 5:31 left in the first half.
Xavier Pinson would cut the lead to one, banking in a layup just before the buzzer sounded, as Liberty would lead at the half, 25-25.
Darius Days finished the first half with six points to lead the team. The Flames topped LSU on the boards at the half, outrebounding them 25-17. LSU shot poorly in the first half going 34% from the floor, with only 17% shooting from three point land.
Darrius Days set the tone for the 2nd half after he came out with a crowd erupting three pointer giving the Tigers back the lead, while defensively, LSU would keep the Flames scoreless on their first five possessions. The Tigers increased their lead, going on a 9-0 run over the next four minutes, going up 34-26 at the officials timeout.
Liberty would finally get on the board with a deep three to cut things to five at the 15:42 mark before really heating up from the three point line. Over the next three minutes Liberty would take the air out of the arena, going on a 13-2 run, taking a 45-38 lead with 11:46 remaining in the game.
LSU battled to keep the game close, but Liberty's outside shooting helped the Flames hang on to a small lead, 50-47 with 7:43 left on the clock.
After a questionable charge call on Eric Gaines, Will Wade was hit with a technical foul. The technical foul not only seemed to fire up the Tigers, but helped erupt the Maravich Center.
Trailing 52-47 with 7:06 remaining, the Tigers would shift it into another gear and take over the game. Days would cut it to two with a huge three pointer. With the Assembly Center roaring, the Tigers would turn up their aggression, coming up with three straight stops on defense as Liberty finally began to run out of gas.
LSU took the lead back with 4:50 remaining after Brandon Murray drained a huge three point jumper to go up 53-52. The fireworks would continue as Darius Days and Eric Gaines would get big points from the free throw line. Then Days would hit another three pointer giving the Tigers a six point lead at the 3:58 mark.
Will Wade would have his Tigers slows things down to eat away clock, before Efton Reid would get in on the action with a big time three from behind the arc, extending the LSU lead to nine, 63-54. The Tigers were now hitting on all cylinders as Liberty would continue to wear down. Darius Days would add his fifth three of the night to start driving nails into the Flames' coffin with just under two minutes left to play.
After trailing for a majority of the night, LSU would finish out the contest scoring the games final six points to pull out a 74-58 victory.
For the second straight game LSU would start slow, playing a sloppy first half and finding themselves trailing halftime, only to battle back with better play in the second half to earn the win.
Darrius Days finished with 26 points and 7 rebounds,... Efton Reid added 13 points, while Xavier Pinson and Eric Gaines would finish with 10 points each off of the bench.
“We played so hard defensively. That’s three-straight teams we’ve held under 60 points." Wade said. "I thought we were jittery on offense in the first half. We just need to calm down we took some uncharacteristic shots. We’re falling for their eye candy. We’re trying to take the first decent look we can get instead of getting a great look and so I thought we settled down in the second half. Obviously, (Darius) Days was tremendous. Efton Reid was great. He got in foul trouble in the first half and came back and was huge in the second half. We had to adjust some ball screen coverage, but he was huge. I thought Eric Gaines’ defensive intensity and his energy totally changed the game for us. He had five steals. The difference was we gave up eight offensive rebounds in the first half and one in the second half. I think we’re down eight on the glass and we ended up losing it by one, but we outrebounded them in the second half. We’re just a lot better chasing balls down and doing what we needed to do with the little things defensively and rebounding.”......
Coach Wade's response on dealing with Liberty's runs, ...“We made our free throws. We weren’t as solid as we need to be on defense; we had two fouls where we reached and gave them four points. We didn’t turn the ball over offensively; most of our turnovers were offensive fouls. I thought the crowd was great, we fed off the energy; the students were great. A 6:00 p.m. tip-off is a lot harder to get to, but I thought the crowd was really good.”
LSU improves to 3-0 on the season and will return to play on Thursday, Nov. 18 as they host McNeese in the PMAC. Tipoff is set for 7:00pm.
Da Boot Sports
By: Terrill J. Weil
BATON ROUGE, LA: LSU found themselves down 37-32 at halftime to a Texas State team that gave them all they could handle and more for the first 29 minutes of Friday night's contest. But the Tigers would eventually put it all together while turning up their defensive pressure in the second half. Pressure that led to several fast break scoring opportunities, helping LSU pull away during the final 11 minutes for a 84-59 victory. Several Tigers contributed in the second half as LSU would outscore the Bobcats 52-22 after the break.
Darius Days and Tari Eason both led the team with 17 points each. Both freshmen Alex Fudge and Brandon Murray scored 14 points each, with Fudge scoring big in the first half, while Murray was having his turn to shine in the final 20 minutes. Eric Gaines played well and finished with 9 points, while Xavier Pinson added 8 in the ball game.
The Tigers started out the contest cold and out of sync as they found themselves in a fast break contest with Texas State. The early difference was LSU's poor outside shooting while the Bobcats were busy hitting high percentage baskets. At the 16:44 mark, the Tigers led 8-4 before Texas State would go on a 12-2 run over the next four minutes to take a 16-10 lead. The pace of play would slow some and LSU would slowly chip away at the Bobcats' lead, eventually pulling even at 16-16 with 10:00 to go in the first half. With the score later knotted up at 18-18, Mason Harrell would hit a three point jumper that banked in off the glass as the shot clock expired, giving TSU a 21-18 lead. But it would be a brief lead as Darius Days would answer ten seconds later, hitting a three from the top of the key to tie things back up, 21-21 with 7:39 to go. The well coached Bobcats would continue to play fast with great ball movement. They were also doing a great job of setting up their shots and making them as they began to heat up from the outside hitting three straight shots from behind the arc to go on a 9-4 run, taking a 30-25 lead with 3:59 left in the half. LSU continued to struggle against a tough, high energy Texas State defense, as both teams battled even over the last three minutes of the half, with the Bobcats holding a 37-32 lead at halftime.
Freshman Alex Fudge finished the first half leading the team with 12 points.. Darius Days added 8 in the first 20 minutes, while Xavier Pinson would score 6.
Both teams played pretty even in the first half with the difference coming from behind the three point arc, as Texas State went 6-12 for 50%, while LSU only hit 3-9 for 33%. As poorly as the Tigers performed offensively in the first half, they would only find themselves trailing by five at the break.
LSU started the second half with more energy as they would battle to pull the game even at 39-39 at the 17:35 mark. TSU continued to keep pace with the Tigers as five minutes later they would trail LSU by two, 49-47. The Tigers finally began to make plays on both ends of the court as they would begin to heat up offensively, paced by Brandon Murray's 11 second half points to go on a 14-4 run over the next five minutes of play building a 63-51 lead at the 7:58 mark. LSU would increase their lead to 17, outscoring the Bobcats 7-2, finishing the run off with a Alex Fudge monster jam after a steal and assist by Eric Gaines right before the officials timeout with 6:01 left on the clock. The Bayou Bengals would increase their lead to 23 with a Brandon Murray three pointer three minutes later, 78-55 Tigers. After LSU took a firm control of the contest, the Bobcats shifted into panic mode and began rushing and missing their outside shots. The Tigers would continue to pull away, taking a 82-57 lead with only 1:01 left in the game.
*Coach Wade's post game comments...
“Obviously, a great win. In the second half we were tremendous. I thought we weren’t aggressive enough in the first half and turned it up in the second half. We have great athletes, when you press and play hard for 40 minutes, it kind of wears teams down. I thought the pressure in the second half it was much better. Give Alex Fudge a ton of credit, he saved us in the first half. If he doesn’t cut and make that three and shoot well. He made a huge one-and-one to cut the deficit from seven to five when they were kind of running away from us a bit. I thought Fudge did a tremendous job. He showed flashes of his true potential and flashes of his production, he was great. (Darius) Days did what he did in the second half and Tari (Eason); we found a mismatch with him. We were playing smaller, when we fixed that mismatched Tari just went to work. And then Brandon Murray. We were able to run a counter off the mismatch play and get Murray going after we saw that free throw go in and then a shot goes in. Just a total team effort. It was a good win, they’re a good team. We have a better team coming on Monday. So, we have to turn it around quick and get ready to go Monday. Once again, we had 1600-plus students here tonight, which was great. I know on Friday night there are a bunch of formals and stuff going on, so I’m really pleased at the student turnout and overall crowd; the crowd helped us a lot in the second half. When we press and play with energy you kind of feed off the crowds. I was great to have a good crowd especially on a Friday night. It was a good team we beat, I’m proud of those guys.”
Next the Tigers (2-0) will host Liberty on Monday, Nov. 15 in the PMAC... Tipoff is set for 6:00pm and will be carried on ESPNU...
Da Boot Sports
By: Terrill J. Weil
BATON ROUGE. LA: LSU opened up their 2021-22 basketball season by demolishing UL-Monroe, 101-39 on Tuesday night in front of a nice crowd of just under 10,000 in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center, including 2,000 plus in the student section.
The 62 point victory ranks as the fifth largest margin of victory in LSU men's basketball history. The largest came in 1999 when the Tigers blasted Grambling, 112-37.
“Good opening night." Wade said. "First off I want to thank the students. We had over 2,000 students which was incredible and set the tone in the arena. We had just a little less than 10,000 people in the arena tonight. I’m very appreciative of the students and fans for showing up on a Tuesday night and hopefully they comeback.
The Tigers were led by senior Darius Days who finished the game with 30 points. Days stayed blazing hot throughout the game, hitting 11-13 shots from the floor and an incredible 8-9 from three point land. The eight three point shots are tied for 3rd most in a game by a LSU player and the first time a player has made that many three pointers in a game during the Will Wade era.
The Tigers started the game with an aggressive attitude, scoring their first three baskets on monstrous dunks, followed by back-to-back three point jumpers from Days giving LSU a 12-4 edge. But ULM would battle back going on a 9-6 run to cut the Tigers' lead to five, 18-13 with 13:05 left on the clock. The teams would play even over the next three minutes as the score stood at 22-17. LSU began to dominate the contest from here on out, finishing the first half on a 30-3 run to take a 52-20 lead into the locker room at the break.
LSU simply toyed around with the outmanned Warhawks in the second half as they went on a 14-5 run during the first five minutes of the half to extend their lead to 41 points, 66-25. The Tigers would continue to put on a show for the electrified crowd with outstanding play which included several impressive dunks along with a suffocating defense that held ULM to only 19 points in the second half. LSU would outscore the Warhawks 35-14 over the final 15 minutes of the contest for a fantastic 101-39 victory. At one point with 6:33 left in the ball game, Darius Days had more points, 30, then the entire ULM team, 29... What a way to start a season...
Several Tigers saw action as Will Wade was able to start emptying the bench with 8:00 left in the contest. Efton Reid was impressive under the basket, scoring 16 points while grabbing six rebounds. Tari Eason finished with a double-double scoring 11 points with 10 rebounds. Xavier Pinson and Eric Gaines both played well, finishing with 10 points each. Brandon Murray and Alex Fudge showed flashes of dominance late in the contest as Will Wade's group looked very impressive. It's very exciting when you think about how good this team could be.
*Will Wade's statement in his post game press conference....
"It took us a minute to settle into the game. (Darius) Days was huge for us. He got hot, which allowed some of our other guys to settle in. (Xavier) Pinson got into a little foul trouble in the first half. I think Days getting hot relieved some of the tension for some of the younger guys. It was an all-around team win. (Eric) Gaines had 14 assists and three turnovers. I think we turned the ball over a bit too much at the end. Tari Eason had a double-double. (Alex) Fudge had five offensive rebounds. Mwani (Wilkinson) had six steals. That’s how our group is, everyone’s going to chip in and contribute. Efton (Reid) was seven-of-10 from the field. You can throw the ball into him and something’s good going to happen. I thought (Brandon) Murray got more comfortable as the game went on. He hit that big shot off that inbounds play. I thought (Jarrell) Colbert did good things when we put him in. I was really pleased. I thought Eason and Gaines gave us great energy. I thought the starting group did a great job of settling in. Just a good team win and excited to be back in the PMAC and that type of environment.”
Next up LSU (1-0) will host Texas State on Friday, Nov. 12th at 7:00pm in the PMAC... Boot Up & buy your tickets today......
Photos below by: Michael Bacigalupi
Photos below by: Jonathan Mailhes
Da Boot Sports
LSU Sports Information
By: Michael Bonnette
BATON ROUGE – LSU will officially unveil Dale Brown Court inside the Pete Maravich Assembly Center when the Tigers host Kentucky on Tuesday, Jan. 4.
LSU opens the 2021-22 basketball season on today when the women host Nicholls at 11 a.m. followed by the men hosting Louisiana-Monroe at 7 p.m.
Dale Brown Court won’t appear on the floor inside the Pete Maravich Assembly Center until the official unveiling the night of the Kentucky game. Coach Brown asked that the court be unveiled at the Kentucky game.
The LSU Board of Supervisors approved a resolution to name the basketball court after the longtime LSU coach in September.