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