BATON ROUGE, La. (AP)—Glen Davis earned his reputation last season by dominating opponents in the lane.
Facing a zone defense, Davis took his game away from the basket Wednesday against Wright State and matched his season high with 26 points and No. 17 LSU came away with a 71-45 victory in a first-round game of the Hispanic College Fund Classic.
“Tonight was me being more aggressive and establishing myself in the game,” said Davis, who had 12 rebounds. “I can do more than go down in the post. This goes back to the Washington game when I was limited in the post. I can do more things.”
Davis, a preseason All-America, had one of the worst games of his career in the Tigers’ 88-72 loss to then-No. 17 Washington last week. The Huskies forced Davis to miss eight of his 11 shots from the field.
“When you try to move the ball to Glen in the paint, there are three people circling him,” LSU coach John Brady said. “Glen is a good 15- to 17-foot shooter when he’s in rhythm and not thinking about it. He’s been working on that. It gives him a little more freedom.”
Davis, who had never made more than one 3-pointer in a game during his career, hit three 3s and was 10-of-13 from the field overall.
Dameon Mason, a transfer from Marquette, scored a season-best 14 points on 5-of-7 shooting from the field, including two 3-pointers, for the Tigers (8-3). Terry Martin came off the bench and added 14 points, 12 on 3-pointers, for LSU.
“LSU really shot the ball especially well,” Wright State coach Brad Brownell said. “Glen Davis comes out and hits three 3s. Obviously, we have to pack it back a bit because we are undersized at a lot of spots.”
DaShaun Wood had 17 points to lead the Raiders (5-6). LSU held Wood to one field goal in the second half.
Leading 36-28 at halftime, LSU outscored Wright State 24-6 in the first nine minutes of the second half with Mason and Davis combining for 14 points. Two 3-pointers by Martin helped the Tigers take a 60-34 lead.
“We approached the game unselfishly,” Brady said. “We had good player movement and good ball movement. We shot well for the most part and took care of the basketball.”
Darnell Lazare sparked the surge that put LSU ahead in the first eight minutes of the game. Trailing by four points, the Tigers went on a 15-5 run. Lazare scored all six of his first-half points during that time as LSU built a 17-11 lead.
The other nine points during that stretch came on 3-pointers—two by Davis and one by Mason. LSU made seven of its first 10 field goal attempts.