Da Boot Sports
By: David Penn
Baton Rouge, La - Coming off back to back wins, the LSU Tigers looked to continue their success against the Georgia Bulldogs at the Maravich Assembly Center on Wednesday night.
Both teams struggled early with the game tied at 4 a piece with 15:26 to go in the first half and neither team shooting above 20% from the field.
Xavier Pinson said, “I mean, yeah, I agree (with Darius). Coach (Will Wade) subbed us out, he told me if I saw how I was playing, I would have subbed myself out. So, I just looked in the mirror and we turned it around.”
The Dawgs would sandwich a pair of 3pt baskets around a F Tari Eason triple to take a 10-9 lead with 11:53 remaining in the first.
LSU would then take control of the game. Tari Eason led all scorers with 17 first half points on 7-10 shooting from the field. Noah Bauman would score 6 points for the Dawgs in the first half, shooting 2-3 with both makes coming from downtown.
The LSU defense made things particularly difficult for the Georgia Bulldogs, forcing double digit turnovers in the first half. The Tigers kept the Bulldogs from scoring a field goal in the final 7 minutes of the first half and only scored a pair of free throws as LSU closed the half on a 19-2 run, taking a 38-22 lead into the locker room at the break.
LSU continued to keep the defensive pressure on the Bulldogs in the second half, holding the Georgia offense to an abysmal 32% shooting before LSU pulled in starters with 5 minutes remaining.
The Tigers offense would capitalize on the Georgia turnovers throughout the game scoring 31 points off of 25 turnovers. LSU outrebounded UGA 32-26 and scored 19 second chance points.
Darius Days and Brandon Murray would both join Eason with all three players scoring double digits for the Tigers. Darius Days led the team in rebounding with 12 and Xavier Pinson led the tigers in assists with 10.
Kario Oquendo led the Bulldogs wit 26 points on 8-16 shooting and added 7 from the charity stripe.
Coach Will Wade expressed his approval of the first 35 minutes and disappointment over the last 4 minutes of the game, “Good win. I thought we handled defense. I am disappointed in the last four and a half minutes of the game. We let them score on six of the last seven possessions.” UGA did score on it’s last 8 attempts from the field and were able to finish shooting 44% from the floor, but the Tigers were able to extend their lead by as many as 30 points in the second half and the game was never in jeopardy.
The Tigers have now won three straight and sit at 19-7 overall and 7-6 in SEC play.
Next up LSU will travel to Columbus, SC to take on the South Carolina Gamecocks on Saturday, Feb. 19th. Tipoff is set
for 2:30pm CT and the contest will be televised on the SEC Network.
Photos Below By: Michael Bacigalupi