Da Boot Sports
By: Terrill J. Weil
BATON ROUGE, LA: The #19 LSU Tigers continued to roll, improving their record to 10-0 with a 89-49 victory over the Northwestern State Demons on Tuesday night in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.
Tari Eason again led the team in scoring with 18 points. Xavier Pinson scored 15 points on the night, while Efton Reid put up a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Darius Days added 13 points on the night. Brandon Murray scored 9, while Eric Gaines and Alex Fudge each contributed 8 points in the contest.
Defensively, LSU set the tone of the ball game, frustrating Northwestern State all night long with relentless man to
man pressure, forcing 17 turnovers that would be converted into 17 points. LSU also outrebounded the Demons, 53-39.
LSU's 10-0 start is the team's best start in 22 years, back when they started 13-0 in 1999. That season, the John Brady led Tigers finished 28-6 overall (12-4 SEC), won the SEC West and advanced to the Sweet Sixteen.
LSU would score first after controlling the opening tip, as Efton Reid's layup put the Tigers ahead 2-0. At the 16:25 mark, we found the contest knotted up 6-6 as LSU found themselves starting slow and shaky as usual, allowing Northwestern State to keep pace.
Over the next four minutes, LSU would go on a 10-3 run, taking a 16-9 lead with 12:13 on the clock, before really starting to settle into a nice groove.
The LSU defensive pressure began to heat up and would hold the Demons to only two points over the next five minutes of play as the Tigers increased their lead to 15 points, 26-11 with 7:37 to go in the first half.
At the five minute mark, LSU had built a 36-15 advantage as the shots were falling for the Tigers and the defensive pressure remained relentless.
The Tigers simply suffocated the Demons in the final five minutes of the first half, outscoring them 5-0, to take a 41-15 lead into the locker room at the half.
LSU's defense held the Demons shooting to only 6-31 from the floor for 19% and 2-12 from behind the three point arc for 17%. Northwestern State also committed nine turnovers in the first half and was out rebounded by the Tigers, 24-21.
The Tigers started slow, but the shot began to fall halfway through the half as the Tigers shot 18-37 from the floor for 49%, while going 4-11 three pointers for 36%.
Xavier Pinson led the Tigers in scoring at the half with 13 points, while Brandon Murray and Eric Gaines added 6 points each. Darius Days and Tari Eason each finished with 5 points in the first 20 minutes.
The Tigers remained hot to start the second half going on a 10-5 run during the first three minutes, building their lead to 51-20. At the 12 minute mark, the Tigers had increased their advantage to 36 points, now leading 63-27.
LSU continued to pour it on the Demons taking a 40 point lead with 8:17 to go in the contest, 73-33. From this point, Will Wade began to send bench players in to finish off the game.
The relentless Bayou Bengals would hold a 83-45 lead with five minutes left on the clock, when Parker Edwards entered the game, bringing a roar from the student section.
Fudge, Gaines, Ezewiro, Colbert, and Edwards would finish off the final 3:36 to clinch win number ten on the season.
“Well, we won, so that was good. (Xavier) Pinson got his 1,000th point of his career, congrats to him. I think (Darius) Days is two away from 1,000 himself. If he doesn’t get it on Saturday, then we’re in real trouble, so we hope he gets it." Will Wade said. "We did a better job limiting our turnovers with only 10 in this game, which is the first time in a long time that we limited our turnovers to our game goal. We had eight going into those last four or five minutes, so that was good. Our defensive rebounding still leaves a lot to be desired. We gave up 13 offensive rebounds, with No. 22 (Cedric Garrett) and No. 4 (Kendal Coleman) whipping our tails on the offensive glass. That’s got to get cleaned up and we’ve got to get more physical and drive guys back. They had 16 second-chance points off the 13 offensive rebounds; teams are going start to tee off on that if we can’t get that corrected. Our transition defense was improved. They had a very good attack against our press, and I thought they were well prepared for our pressure, so give them credit. Coleman’s a really good player and made for a great specialist. He was 16-of-24 on mid-range jump shots coming into tonight and he hit a few on us as well. It’s a win, we’ll take, and we’ll get a bigger challenge on Saturday.”
**Wade on Xavier Pinson’s performance…
“He played great. They’d try to go under the ball screens, but he’d hit three-points behind them, which was huge. He was able to get downhill and drive. That pass he had to (Tari) Eason in the first half was as good of a pass as you’ll see. X is such a good player and a calming influence for us as well. It may be his best game this year, in terms of complete flow of the game.”
Next up for the Tigers is a trip to Bossier City to take on Louisiana Tech on Dec. 18th. Tipoff is set for 6:00pm
Photos Below By: Michael Bacigalupi