Basketball Ends Homestand with 74-67 Win Over La Tech
Communications Sr. Associate
BATON ROUGE – Will Wade has always talked about the crucial last six minutes of a game and the times the No. 22 Tigers needed to be the stronger team down the stretch.
LSU responded in a final six minutes that determined victory and defeat as LSU outscored Louisiana Tech by a 17-9 margin over the final 5:57 seconds to get out of the Pete Maravich Assembly Center with a 74-67 victory to go to 4-0 on the season and win for the 11th straight time in the building dating back to last year.
With the win, LSU is now holding a building winning streak that ties for the 11th longest in the 48 years of play in the Maravich Center and won for the 17th consecutive time against a Louisiana school.
Louisiana Tech lost for the first time this season to go to 3-1.
The Tigers took the lead for the first time since the 16:18 mark of the second half just inside the six minute mark as Tremont Waters made a layup. The Bulldogs missed a three-pointer and Skylar Mays drove and scored to make it 61-58. After another LA Tech missed three, Emmitt Williams made one free throw to push the margin to four, 62-58, with 4:17 left.
Tech hit two buckets over the next two minutes to tie the game at 62-62 but at the other end Waters found Ja'vonte Smart open in the corner and his three hit the rim bounced up and bounced in to give LSU the lead for good at 65-62 with 2:06 left.
Both teams missed shots but LSU was able to get an offensive rebound and Kavell Bigby-Williams was there for the put back to push the margin to 67-62 with 1:08 to play. Mays made three-of-four free throws as Tech began to foul and the lead was 70-62 with 40 seconds left.
The Tigers closed the game out by making four free throws to send an announced crowd of 9,557 home happy.
Smart opened his college career with his fourth straight double figure scoring game with 16 points on 7-of-10 shooting and 2 treys. Waters had 14 points and five assists, while Mays and senior Daryl Edwards had 12 each. Edwards played with a facemask on after nose surgery on Wednesday. He suffered the break earlier in the season in practice.
Louisiana Tech was led by the 22 points from Anthony Duruji with Exavian Christon adding 15 and Amorie Archibald 10. Oliver Powell had 10 rebounds as the Bulldogs out rebounded the Tigers, 42-38.
For the second game this year, LSU had less than 10 turnovers (its lowest total of the season, 7) and forced 17 creating an LSU advantage in points off turnovers of 22-9. The Tigers also had a 44-26 advantage in points in the paint.
LSU shot 45.3 percent for the game (29-64) but only 20.8% from the arc (5-of-24) and for the first time this season struggled at the free throw line with 57.9 percent (11-of-19). Louisiana Tech shot just 39.3 percent (24-61) but made 11 three pointers (11-28, 39.3%).
In a game with four ties and 10 lead changes, LSU was able to get the first breakaway in the first 10 minutes of the game, opening up a nine-point advantage on a 10-0 run that featured a dunk by Mays and a flying alley-oop from Waters to Marlon Taylor, a three by Mays and a free throw and dunk by Kavell Bigby-Williams.
LSU led 24-15 at that point with 9:40 to go in the first half and would lead again by nine with 4:28 to go, 33-24. But Tech would close on a 9-3 run and LSU led by just three points, 36-33, at the half.
In the second half, Tech needed less than four minutes to tie the game at 40 on an Archibald three-pointer and would go on a 17-6 run to go up by its biggest margin, 54-46, with 12:42 to play. But the Tigers were able to come back and in the final six minutes make the game a win for LSU.
LSU now goes on the road for the first time to the AdvoCare Invitational starting Thanksgiving night at 6 p.m. (ESPNU, LSU Sports Radio Network) against Charleston. The tournament, which continues next Friday and Sunday (Nov. 23, 25), is held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex at Disney World in Florida.
LSU vs. Louisiana Tech Quotes
November 16, 2018
LSU Head Coach Will Wade
“Good team win. Found a way to get it done. Still have some things we need to work on and improve. At the end of the day, the goal was to be 4-0 and we’re 4-0. Competition is getting ready to kick up as we head to Orlando. We need to get better these next couple of days in practice. I did think our defense was improved. We were better. We didn’t move the ball as well as we needed to on offense, but we can get some of that stuff corrected. Our defensive rebounding was exposed a little bit tonight. I thought it would be. We’ll get back and figure things out and improve and get better.
On Daryl Edwards 12-point performance tonight…
“It was awesome. I thought our two seniors really, really helped us. Kavell’s (Bigby-Williams) tip-in, I thought Kavell played great. I thought Daryl (Edwards) played his best game, certainly this year and maybe since he’s been here. Twelve points in 19 minutes, two assists, no turnovers. He was aggressive at the end of the press. I knew we were going to need guys to step up. I knew Naz (Reid) was banged up. Just didn’t know how much he could do today. He tried to give it a go. I knew we needed some other guys to be able to step up and carry some of that slack. I thought Daryl was well positioned to do that and he did that.”
LSU Guard Tremont Waters
On what changed for the team in the last part of the second half…
“We came together. Obviously, they went on a run and we had to settle down and come together as a collective group and just know we had to help the bigs in the rebounding battle and they started missing shots and we were able to box out and rebound, so that led to our offense and transition baskets.
LSU Guard Ja'vonte Smart
On his performance tonight…
“I played good. Coach told me to just keep attacking and my teammates told me to just keep attacking. I am just happy we got the win today.”
On what was said by the coaches at halftime…
“Coach told us we came out sloppy. Like in warmups and everything, we were sloppy. Everybody just came together and we came out with the win.”
On his three-point shot to give LSU the go-ahead lead…
“Shout out to Tremont for the assist. I just stepped in and made the big shot. That is what players do. I am a freshman, but I will take the shot.”
Louisiana Tech Head Coach Eric Konkol
“I thought we came here to compete and our guys fully expected to come in and win. We’re disappointed we fell short of that, but no question, I thought we played really, really hard. It was the turnovers for us. We left a lot of shots out on the court by not taking care of the basketball enough. We have to give LSU some credit because they did a lot of things to make that challenging tonight.”
On how the team fought back when down…
“I thought it showed a lot of maturity and toughness from our group to just play possession by possession and try to make the next right play and find some good baskets. Get the next stop and go on a little run. We can take that from here. We just have to, again, clean up our turnovers throughout the entire game. I think next time we’ll be able to come away from a win.”
On performances from Anthony Duruji and Exavian Christon…
“I thought our sophomores, those two in particular, really grew up tonight. We really rode Anthony (Duruji) in the second half and didn’t give him many breaks. But with rebounding, he was able to find some spots on the floor and he played a really nice game tonight. Same thing with Exavian (Christon). Exavian missed practice yesterday with an illness. He wasn’t 100% sure if we’d have him, but in my gut, I knew there was no way he was going to miss a game. He really battled for us today.”