Men's Basketball Falls in SEC-Big 12 Challenge

Antonio Blakeney had 23 points
Antonio Blakeney had 23 points
LSU Athletics Creative Services
Kent Lowe (@LSUkent)
Kent Lowe (@LSUkent)
Communications Sr. Associate

LUBBOCK, Texas – Duop Reath and Antonio Blakeney combined for 35 points to lead LSU, but Texas Tech was able to control the game from the start and win over the Tigers, 77-64, here Saturday at United Supermarkets Arena.

The game was in the annual SEC/Big 12 Challenge series of 10 games played throughout the day on Saturday.

Reath posted his fourth double double of the year with 12 points and 11 rebounds to go with three assists, while Blakeney had his 16th career game of 20 points or more with 23 points. Wayde Sims was the other LSU player in double figures with 10.

Blakeney was 8-of-16 from the field with three treys, 2 assists and no turnovers in a team-high 36 minutes. 

Texas Tech came out and hit its first four three-point attempts of the game and quickly built a 14-5 advantage over LSU in the first 5:10 of the game. The Red Raiders (15-6) hit 10-of-15 treys in the first half and 12-of-23 for 52.2% for the game. TTU shot 48.1 percent for the game overall (25-of-52), making just 13-of-29 from inside the arc for the game.

Zach Smith led Texas Tech with 25 points and eight rebounds, hitting 8-of-10 shots, including both three-point attempts and 7-of-9 free throws. Aaron Ross hit three treys in scoring 15 points, as did Niem Stevenson (15 points, three treys). Anthony Livingston had four treys and 12 points.

LSU shot 46.9 percent for the game (23-of-49) and made 9-of-21 three-point attempts (42.9%). The Red Raiders made 15-of-21 free throws, while LSU was just 9-of-16. TTU out rebounded the Tigers, 33-25.

After the initial blast by Texas Tech, LSU was able to cut the game back down to five points on a couple of occasions and six, 22-16, on a Blakeney layup as the first half ticked under six minutes. But the Red Raiders hit a three, LSU couldn’t match on the other end and a 14-3 run pushed the Tech out to a 17-points, 36-19, advantage with 2:14 before halftime.

LSU trailed at the break, 39-27.

In the second 20 minutes, LSU was able to take the game down to 10 at 17:03, 46-36, on a Blakeney 3, but like much of the game Texas Tech had an answer as Livingston responded with his own trey. Texas Tech would eventually push the margin to 21 points, 72-51, with 3:58 to play before LSU closed it to the final margin of 13.

Texas Tech had the margin in points in the paint, 22-20, but LSU was able to have the advantage in points off turnovers, 13-8. The Red Raiders were another team that took advantage of second chance opportunities by a 15-4 count.

LSU will be at home for two games this coming week, hosting South Carolina on Wednesday night at 8 p.m. on the SEC Network, and LSU will face Texas A&M again on Saturday at 8 p.m. on ESPNU. The games will both be broadcast on the LSU Sports Radio Network.

Follow updates on LSU Basketball at www.Facebook.com/LSUBasketball and on Twitter @LSUBasketball.
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LSU Postgame Quotes
LSU vs. Texas Tech – January 28, 2017

LSU Head Coach Johnny Jones
Opening Statement …
“I really respect this program. They have got off to a really good start, and they displayed that again today. We knew that we had to come in and play at another level. I thought our guys played extremely hard. We had some really bright moments. There were times where they had gotten on a role especially offensively. They had 10 three’s during the first half, and I thought our guys made some adjustments in the second half by limiting them to only two threes. As effective offensively that they are, they made plays and made shots. I thought our guys did a good job of making plays on both ends of the floor. Unfortunately, we were not able to overcome the deficit at the end of the first half, but you have to certainly give Texas Tech credit for the way that they performed and played today to secure a victory.”

On the switching the defenses to calm things down…
“They are a talented team. They have excellent shooters. Anytime you have effective post guys, they have to step out onto the floor sometimes. Guys are not used to teams guarding that – Livingston and guys that are 6-8 stepping out on the three-point shooters. All of their guys are effective. I find that they are effective. They did a great job stretching us out and driving the gaps. The guards are really quick. When we tried to help, they made pitch plays. They got looks, and they really knocked them down. You have to create and make the shots. Unfortunately teams have hit us with that this year. I thought we made the adjustments that we needed to and cut that down in the second half.”

On the encouragement from the other night versus Florida to today’s game …
“I thought these guys did a tremendous job of battling. I thought that they played with heart. We weren’t perfect by no stretch of the imagination, but I thought we were effective in our efforts. I thought we made mistakes tonight. A lot of areas were made going full-speed. That is a plus for us, and I think that is something that we can grow from.”

On the concern of only having three guys score in the first half…
“Yep. The way that they defend, we had to take what they were giving us. In opportunities, we missed a few shots there in the first half that I thought were scoring opportunities for us that didn’t go down. But, you have got to take those shots. Those things are going to happen, but you have to really credit their defense in what they were able to do. I can’t take anything away from them. We just didn’t execute at that level. Up in the second half, I thought we did a much better job of spreading it around and making extra passes. In our offense, I thought it flowed a lot smoother there in the second half with extra passes and making shots.”

On playing for more zone defense …
“Unfortunately for us, we hadn’t been a great defensive basketball team. We have tried a few things this year and zone has been one of them. I wanted to make sure they did a great job tonight. They did a great job starting a bigger line-up without (Keenan) Evans being available for them. We wound up staying in the zone. They were effective enough to make some shots and get us out of it. Then, we had to try and hang on and play man-to-man. They run a really good motion offense, and they were very patient in it. We had to pick and choose what to take away from it. I thought we did a better job in our man tonight because it was more effective than our zone.

On the long stretch without scoring…
“We have got to do a better job of taking advantage. Glad to see “Tone” (Antonio Blakeney) get it going and making some positive plays tonight and more aggressive in his play. That was a huge plus for us. When he is on-point like that and playing, he gets it in his eye and the ball is moving. He is driving the gaps for us and being able to get open looks from the three-point line. He is an effective player. I thought his teammates did a great job getting the ball to him tonight, and I thought he did a good job. I thought that Duop (Reath) and (Wayde) Sims were both effective. I thought Jalyn (Patterson) did a good job with the six assists tonight. He made some extra plays and passes for us especially under the type of pressure that they put on you.”

Guard Antonio Blakeney
On the slow start in the first half…
“No, they weren’t doing anything. They were just staying the same, pretty much until they made that change at the end of the game. But, the slow start just came. They didn’t miss a shot.”

On the big hole in the first five minutes…
“Yeah, that is what we are trying to focus on. Something we are trying to harp on. Coming out with a lot of energy and coming out with the right mindset. Trying to hit first and stop getting hit first. Then, trying to bounce back – just trying to hit and get a first punch.”

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