Men's Hoops Comeback Effort Falls Short to USC

LSU's Andre Stringer
LSU's Andre Stringer
Hilary Scheinuk
Matt Dunaway
Matt Dunaway

BATON ROUGE - The LSU men's basketball team charged back from a 13-point second half deficit to slice the margin down to four in the closing moments, but South Carolina fended off the Tigers to claim a 64-56 win Wednesday at the Maravich Center.

LSU (10-12, 2-5 SEC) had three players reach double figures fueled by Andre Stringer's 19 points, two away from matching his career high.

Garrett Green chipped in 12 points sparked by an 8-of-11 effort at the foul line and reached double figures for the fifth time in the last eight games. He also grabbed a game-best nine rebounds. Malcolm White was 5-of-11 from the floor en route to 10 points.

Down 57-44 with 5:52 remaining in the second half, the Tigers exploded for nine points in a 98-second span. White and Ralston Turner connected for jumpers coupled with an Aaron Dotson triple and a Stringer lay-up to pull LSU back to 57-53 at the 4:14 mark.

South Carolina (13-7, 4-3 SEC) regrouped after the final media timeout and scored seven of the final 10 points as the Gamecocks led for the entire 40 minutes. LSU was held without a basket for the last 4:14.

Bruce Ellington tallied 13 of his game-high 20 points in the second half to pace USC. Malik Cooke knocked down four of his five shots to garner 12 points for the Gamecocks.
LSU scored 10 of the final 15 points of the first half to trim a 26-17 deficit down to 31-27 heading into the locker room. Stringer scored 11 of his 19 points during the opening stanza.

The Tigers continue a run of four of its next six games at home Saturday as Mississippi State visits the Maravich Center. Tip-off is slated for 3 p.m. and will be televised on the SEC Network.

Saturday's contest also will be broadcast on the LSU Sports Radio Network (WTGE New Country 100.7 FM The Tiger in the Baton Rouge area). LSU basketball fans can get updated information on the men's basketball team at and on twitter @LSUbasketball and @LSUCoachJohnson. LSU basketball ticket information is available at

LSU vs. South Carolina
February 2, 2011


Opening statement...
"I thought in the first half there was a period there when we were down nine and obviously we have a tendency when things are going bad, it's like an avalanche. It's one of the things I talked about going into this game that we have to play our way through certain situations and certain times like that, so I thought they responded. We came out of the timeout, and Andre (Stringer) made a couple of nice, big shots, and then we got this thing into a workable situation before the half. Then, at the start of the second half, South Carolina did a very, very good job of executing in the half-court. (Bruce) Ellington's a good player. He played beyond his years as a freshman. He made some nice plays, and then we had some breakdowns defensively, and we couldn't come from behind."

On being in the game at the end...
"Losing is losing. I just think from our standpoint the growing pains are painful. We will come back out at 2 o'clock tomorrow and watch videotape and continue to get after it. Obviously with Storm (Warren) I probably could have played him a little more, but I just can't put that kid in that situation. I mean that thing is really tender, and what you have to understand is this game is hard enough to play when you're healthy. He hasn't practiced. He hasn't (played) 5-on-5, 4-on-4 or 3-on-3 for like three weeks. Moving forward we will try to get him in a situation where he can do some live stuff, but I thought Garrett (Green) and Malcolm (White) for the most part had great energy. I thought Malcolm did a very, very good job and played extremely hard. He was very effective in the post. Unfortunately for him he couldn't play a lot in the first half. It was nice to see Andre with some energy. He made some nice shots at crucial times."

On leaving Ralston Turner in during the first half when he picked up his third foul...
"I was trying to keep it manageable basically because he's going to have to play through those situations because obviously he's very important to what we do, but I thought Aaron (Dotson) did a good job coming in for him. Matt (Derenbecker) had some shots that he's been making that didn't go down. Matt made a comment that he was fine, but obviously to me, it looked like he was laboring off that ankle. But, to answer your question, you keep it manageable."


G Andre Stringer

On coming back within five...
"We never felt like we were out of the game. We played hard when we were down. We kept playing hard and a couple of turnovers here and there kind of side tracked us on key possessions that we needed. We still played hard. We weren't able to come back, but we played hard the whole time."

On his turnover late in the game...
"That possession was key. I was trying to get a little bit of a fast break. I didn't realize Aaron (Dotson) was waiting for the ball. It is probably more my fault on that pass. I should have just gotten it out to Chris (Bass) and set something up. We definitely wish we had that possession back."

G Aaron Dotson

On positives from the game...
"We didn't quit. That is the only positive we could take out of this game. We fought all the way till the end. When they got a big lead, we kept fighting. We cut the lead down. They got a big lead early in the game. I think they were up nine, and we cut that down again. They went up to 11, we cut it down. I think it's good that we fought. Other than that nothing was good out there."

F Garrett Green

On the losing streak...
"We've just got to keep on pushing as a team. We're working really hard in practice. We're struggling lately, and we know that. Every opponent that comes in here they need to feel our presence. We've just got to keep on pushing and keep on getting better."

On the second half struggles in SEC games ...
"I can't tell you exactly. Our offense is good and we're getting shots. We're just not knocking them down."


On why the team shot so well from three point range ...
"I just think we did a better job offensively and playing as a team. Sharing the basketball and making the extra pass. It was everybody. It was a very balanced attack and really we just played more as a team. I can't believe we only had seven assists, it seem like we had more than that. "

On Malik Cooke getting 12 points off the bench ...
"He just gave us great energy. He grabbed a couple of boards and he just gave us some presence down inside. I think offensively he did a really good job for us. Sometimes he would make the extra pass which led to the basket. He just gave us a lot of energy."

On Bruce Ellington's play ...
"He is a terrific player and above that he is a winner. When you look at the top point guards in the country in his class, if you take the top 10 or 12 that came out last year in the rankings, and you look at what he is doing for his team in the different statistical categories he is right up there with the best in the country."

On LSU making the run at the end of the game ...
"You expect the home team to do that. I was a little disappointed in one of the threes that we gave up because I thought we lost (Aaron) Dotson in the corner. You expect the home team to make a run but I thought we responded to it."

On what they did defensively to stop LSU ...
"The biggest thing we wanted to do was not give them anything easy. We were concerned about matchups coming into the games because they have a couple of guys capable of big nights. (Ralston) Turner coming off his injury and (Andre) Stringer is very explosive, and they are very big at every position and we are obviously not. We were concerned about matchups and we just tried to play as hard as possible."


F Lakeem Jackson

On the keys to victory...
"The only thing we could do was come out and have a hard practice from the last game. We didn't really play as well. We just needed to come out and play hard."

On attacking in the paint...
"One of our main goals was to pound the ball inside. Every time it goes in something good happens when we get inside the paint. We just wanted to move it around and get some good, clean looks inside for Sam [Muldrow]."

On rebounding from the LSU comeback...
"We just had to keep our heads in the game. We've been through it before and just had to keep fighting and do what we do well."




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