LSU blows out Tennessee-Martin 79-56
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP)—Coach Trent Johnson saw a different LSU team Thursday from the one which lost to Nicholls State two nights earlier.
The Tigers, whose 82-game homecourt winning streak against Louisiana teams came to end against the Colonels, showed far more intensity in their 79-56 victory against Tennessee-Martin.
LSU outrebounded the Skyhawks by 20 and outscored them in the paint 42-12. All five starters scored in double figures.
“I think the players were generally embarrassed by what happened against Nicholls,” Johnson said. “We did a better job on the glass. The key for us is always coming out with a lot of energy. It was nice to see Malcolm (White) and Storm (Warren) play with energy.”
White and Warren, LSU’s two starting post players, finished with double-doubles. White accounted for 12 points and 15 rebounds after a total of 14 points and six rebounds in the previous two games. Warren ended the night with 12 points and 11 rebounds.
“Basically, I came to play tonight,” said White, who had the first double-double of his college career. “I was going to get every rebound no matter who was there. I was more comfortable tonight. I knew I would get myself loose sooner or later.”
Andre Stringer was the top scorer for the Tigers (2-1) with 15 points. Stringer missed nine of his 12 field goal attempts, but was 8 of 9 at the foul line. Aaron Dotson, who made 5 of 6 free-throw attempts, had 13 points. Ralston Turner contributed 10 points.
“We had to crash the boards and stay aggressive,” White said. “(Johnson) told us we are not going to win games in (the Southeastern Conference) or win any games if we’re not aggressive, particularly on the glass.”
Reuben Clayton, who played only two minutes in the first half because of foul trouble, led the Skyhawks (2-1) with 19 points—all in the final 14 minutes of the game.
“We didn’t play very well,” UT-Martin coach Jason James said. “LSU took us out of what we were trying to do. If they rebound the ball like that and guard like that, they’ll be okay. We played a little timid. We were a little passive instead of being aggressive. They jumped on us like sharks jump on blood.”
There were five ties in the first 11 minutes of the game—the last at 13-13 following a basket by Benzor Simmons. LSU then outscored Tennessee-Martin 23-6 during the remainder of the opening half. The Skyhawks made just two field goals and committed four turnovers in that stretch.
Turner scored eight of the Tigers’ points in that run with six coming on a pair of 3-pointers. White had a couple of field goals, while Dotson sank a free throw and converted a three-point play. LSU scored the final 10 points of the half to go ahead 36-19.
The Tigers continued to pull away at the outset of the second half. White opened the scoring with back-to-back field goals. After Simmons made a pair of foul shots, LSU ran off a string of nine straight points to lead 49-21. Warren made a couple of baskets during that time.
UT-Martin ended a stretch of slightly more than 11 minutes without a field goal when Troy King made a layup with 14:53 remaining in the game. The Skyhawks’ deficit was no fewer than 19 points in the last 14 minutes.