Basketball Wins Seventh-Straight, 69-37
Communications Sr. Associate
BATON ROUGE - The LSU Tigers equaled a near 60-year mark for holding opposing teams under 60 points Thursday night with a 69-37 decision over the Grambling Tigers at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.
The Tigers are now 10-3 on the season, winners of seven straight, while Grambling falls to 0-10. The LSU Tigers play their final non-conference game on Monday night at 6 p.m. against Virginia, which is riding a nine-game winning streak of their own and is 11-1 entering Friday night's game with Towson.
LSU also held its seventh straight opponent under 60 points, tying the mark set in the 1952-53 season of seven straight.
All 11 players that dressed scored in the game, including the first college points for walk-on and former LSU tuba player, 7-2 junior Andrew Del Piero which came at the 4:36 mark.
Jalen Courtney off the bench played 19 minutes and led LSU with 14 points, hitting 4-of-7 from the arc. Johnny O'Bryant III had the other double figure numbers with 10. Senior Storm Warren at the 14:15 mark of the first half grabbed the 500 rebound of his career and is at 506 after being one of four players to lead the team with seven rebounds. No player was on the floor for more than 25 minutes in the contest.
Sophomore off-guard Andre Stringer, who returned to practice after the Christmas break, did not dress as he has not yet been cleared to play.
Quincy Roberts, in his second game for the Grambling Tigers, had another good scoring night with 19 points in 38 minutes. Grambling shot just 22.8 percent for the game, including just 4-of-28 in the second half. LSU shot 40.8 percent for the game (29-71) and 8-of-18 from the arc. LSU had 51 rebounds to 38 for Grambling.
The Tigers had a 33-20 halftime lead and allowed just 17 points for Grambling in the second half.
HEAD COACH TRENT JOHNSON
"Well a little sluggish to start which is to be expected. Obviously we have had three days of practice, but it's not like going up against somebody during the course of the game. When you play a lot of guys early and often, teams will have a tendency to be out of rhythm, and we saw a lot of that, but I thought defensively we were pretty good. We were not really good, just pretty good. It took us awhile to get going and the second half was a lot better. It was just nice to see some guys have the opportunity to play extended minutes like Jalen Courtney who has shown the ability to shoot the ball and I have been trying to find ways to get him in the game more. Obviously it was also nice to see Andrew (Del Piero) because Andrew works extremely hard in practice. You know I said this on the radio show when I was talking to Ricky (Blanton) and I said I wish our fans or people in general could see how far he has come and how hard he has worked and only been able to play in two games. It speaks volumes to the kind of kid he is and you can see the enjoyment that the players had from seeing him get in there and have a chance to play.
"We come back out tomorrow at 12, and we get ready for a very good basketball team, probably one of the top two or three teams in the ACC. They have a very special player in Mike Scott who will play after college. I know Tony (Bennett) very well and have a lot of respect for him and his teams. Not to steal a quote from Ben Howland, but Ben made a quote when I was at Stanford and he was still at UCLA, Ben said playing against a Tony Bennett team is like a root canal and that is exactly what they are. It is going to be a well-fought and tough ball game."
On how nice it is to have depth...
"Well again, it is nice, but versus certain people you can do that, versus certain teams you can do that, but there will be some teams pretty quickly that you may not be able to do that. But the bottom line is everybody knows they need to be ready to play in order for us to achieve our goals and get to where we need to be. We need to have everybody ready to play and all hands on deck so to speak. It was nice tonight."
On what else Jalen (Courtney) needs to improve on to get more playing time...
"He, like a lot of guys on this team, needs to become a better passer and put the ball on the floor more, and he has worked at it. He is a guy that played with his back to the basket because he was basically a five in high school and that transition it takes awhile. Like most kids who played the post in high school, it is ironic that they want to play on the perimeter and shoot threes, but he has done a good job doing that. The only way he is going to improve is to be on the floor and get more minutes. He has done a very good job with his limited minutes."
On what it meant to see Andrew (Del Piero) score...
"It meant a lot because I know how hard he has worked and how he feels about it. I have to watch myself sometimes I put myself in situations with kids like him that I want it more than he does. I kept wanting them to throw the ball back into the post and back into the post and Drew was like can we run offense ... I said I want you to dunk the ball ... again, that's what this is about -- Guys who work their tails off, improve and now they have a chance to have some success and have some fun. It means a lot to me because it means a lot to him and I know how hard he has worked."
ANDREW DEL PIERO
On playing during the game ...
"I didn't think it would be that early (entering the game), to be honest. I did think I had a chance, I was hoping to get maybe five minutes at best. So, it worked out for me, I guess. I figure anytime we're up by 20 or more, I have a shot. They have me doing a lot more turnaround J's and dunks these days. It was a lot of fun. I had a great time."
On his hard work this season ...
"Hard work pays off. Last year was tough due to injuries and the depth chart and different situations. This year, again due to injury, Andre (Stringer) went down, and John Isaac was out for a couple of games. That opened up a lot for me. I had a chance to show what I could. Like I said, hard work pays off."
On LSU's depth ...
"I feel like we have a number of guys that can make things happen for us. In the first half, we were rotating five in and five out and keeping guys fresh. We wanted to try to wear them down. I think for the most part, we got that done. We had other guys step up and make plays."
JOHNNY O' BRYANT
On touch around the basket ...
"I was just playing hard. I'm posting up strong. I crash and blast, and being around the rim is important."
Grambling Head Coach Bobby Washington
"LSU is an SEC team. They have big bodies and they have the best of everything. Those kids can go out and perform. Down the stretch they were too big, too talented and too skilled. You could tell the difference in the level of players. It is an amazing job what Coach (Johnson) has done. Once conference play starts people are going to be surprised at what LSU is going to do in the SEC."
On Quincy Roberts...
"Quincy means a lot to our team. He could put on an LSU jersey and do a great job. For us to be able to get a caliber of player like that and him being a team player is great. We have several seniors out with injuries it has been tough for us to score the basketball. We have been looking for other players to score for us. Once we get a couple of those guys back and starting conference play we should be built well to contend in our conference."
On LSU's defense...
"They are so much bigger and stronger than us. For a team like us it wears you down. The first half we can hang and feel good about ourselves. LSU has a 6'7'' two guard and our two guard is 5'1'' and those big bodies make a difference. You can start to see a gap and it gets wider and wider."