BATON ROUGE - Terrence Jones ripped off 17 of his season-high 27 points during the second half, and No. 1 Kentucky claimed a 74-50 victory over the LSU men's basketball team Saturday in-front of a season-best crowd of 11,631 at the Maravich Center.
The 11,631 paid attendance for Saturday's contest ranked No. 14 in the PMAC's current seat configuration after the arena renovation prior to the 2005-06 season.
Jones buried 10-of-his 16 attempts and 7-of-8 at the foul line as Kentucky (21-1, 7-0 SEC) notched its 13th straight win. Anthony Davis tacked on 16 points and 10 rebounds for his 11th double-double of the season. Darius Muller chipped in 13 points for UK.
Playing its third consecutive nationally-ranked AP opponent in the regular season for the first time since the 2002-03 season, LSU (12-9, 2-5 SEC) was fueled by Johnny O'Bryant III's solid all-around effort. He posted 12 points, nine rebounds and two blocks in his first start since the Virginia game on Jan. 2.
Storm Warren added 11 points in 21 minutes off the bench, while Justin Hamilton was limited to seven points to snap his run of seven straight games in double figures. Anthony Hickey garnered five points, five assists against zero turnovers and four rebounds. The 50 points were a season-low for the Tigers.
Kentucky controlled the opening moments and built a 22-10 advantage after a Miller triple with 8:26 left in the first half. The Wildcats canned a trio of three-pointers and made 8-of-18 shots.
LSU's defense found its bearings and limited UK to one basket over the next five minutes. The Tigers reeled off 14 of the next 17 points to draw back to 25-24 at the 3:22 mark when Hickey connected with Warren on an alley-oop in transition. LSU also received two Ralston Turner buckets and a quartet of Andre Stringer free throws during the run.
Kentucky snatched the momentum back and took a 35-26 lead into halftime. The Wildcats banged home three-balls from Marquis Teague and Miller against LSU's zone defense on consecutive possessions.
Out of the locker room, Jones and Davis combined to score UK's first 13 points of the second half. The Wildcats capped a 37-11 run on Miller and Doron Lamb three-pointers to grab its largest lead of the game, 62-35 with 10:12 to go.
UK made 26-of-55 shots for 47.3 percent ratio, including 7-of-15 from three-point territory. LSU was limited to 21-of-53, 39.6 percent, and the Tigers misfired on eight of their nine three-point attempts.
LSU closes out the first half of its SEC schedule and returns to action next Saturday versus Arkansas in the Maravich Center. Tip-off is scheduled for 12:47 p.m., and the game will be televised by the SEC Network along with ESPN3.com
Tickets for the game are available at LSutix.net.
The LSU Sports Radio Network also will broadcast the game on 100.7 FM (The Tiger) in the Baton Rouge area. Jim Hawthorne, Kevin Ford and Ricky Blanton will call the action.
LSU HEAD COACH TRENT JOHNSON
"I haven't had one of those in a while. They beat us every which way but loose. They are pretty good. Basically, defensively with Terrence Jones' and Anthony Davis' length and mobility, they can switch all of your stuff. It does not matter if they have a post guy guarding a guard. We knew that going in. We also know that if we did not run our stuff to the second, third and fourth option, set good screens, come off that thing and attack off the bounce with some aggressiveness and some confidence, we were going to have some problems. When we had that little run there where we got down two, and I don't want to say it was Fool's Gold, but we got away from doing what got us there. I don't want to take anything away (from Kentucky), that is a pretty good basketball team. They will be back in New Orleans probably twice. The only thing that is disturbing to me is, forget the score. During the course of the second half, we just stopped fighting and competing. That is the first time this season that I have seen that from this group. That sort of bothers me, it really bothers me. So basically, we will have (Sunday) off. We will start lifting weights at 2:30 on Monday and then we will practice. It has been a tough January. Five teams ranked, basically in the top-25. Alabama, Florida, Mississippi State, Virginia and this group (Kentucky). February, what I like about February, is that we have nine games in February. If we are as good as we think we are, if we are as good as I think we can be, we will get it all done in February. Like I said, you can say that this was a bad day at the office, but obviously I was disturbed that we stopped competing for whatever reason. I don't know if that would have changed the score, but I would have had a little better feeling in my mouth from a standpoint of my taste."
On Kentucky's defense...
"When people you are playing against are tough, athletic, physical, skilled and good, that messes with you mentally. We addressed that, we talked about that. It is not like that should have surprised us. Still, you have push through that, fight through that, and we did not do that. I thought Johnny (O'Bryant III) had a lot of energy considering how much time he has missed. You can look out there and say that he belonged. I thought they did a really good job on (Anthony) Hickey with (Michael) Kidd-Gilchrest, but I thought they were going to put him on him. They are talented and good. John (Calipari) does not get enough credit for how hard his teams play and guard. It is hard to get a group of talented guys who are quote en quote 'McDonalds All-Americans' and all that other kind of stuff you guys like to write about to compete and play hard like that. And Terrence showed up tonight. He was a man among boys."
On the play of Anthony Hickey...
"He got tentative at times, but he let the thing come to him. He had five assists and zero turnovers. Without looking at the tape, I thought there were times where he got the ball to Justin (Hamilton) in spots where he could score. I thought he got the ball to Johnny in spots where I thought he could score. Again without looking at it, against a team like this, let's not over-analyze this. Let's not just critique my kids because sometimes you have to tip your hat to who is better and that puts a lot of weight on your shoulders. I hate to use the word pressure when you execute and miss an open shot or you get the thing in the post, you have an angle and a guy comes over the back and makes a great play because he is as long as he is athletic. So without me looking at it, the thing that sticks out the most to me is we, forget the score, we stopped fighting, we stopped competing and that's based on me looking out there and us not getting loose balls and all that other kind of stuff."
On Ronald Martin focusing on football...
"Ronald was great. He was lifting weights in the morning with football and coming out, the conditioning and all that. It was just too much for him. Travel. Probably, the most important thing for me was school. We liked having him out there. He was great, but I understood and sort of saw it coming about a week ago. Basketball and football that's a tough transition just from the conditioning base as opposed to football to baseball because you can get into the dugout and take some time. This thing is fast-paced. Not to mention the fact jumping right into it in the middle of league. But he's is a great kid and that's what is going on there."
Regarding the Malcolm White Flagrant 2 Foul --
"That's not what we are about. I didn't have to talk to John (Calipari) about it (the coaches met briefly at midcourt during the ensuing time out), but John knows me. You make a hard play on the ball ... it makes no sense ... I want to look at the tape, but I struggle with that kind of play. That ain"t good. It's one thing to foul a kid hard when he's in the confines of the game going to the basket or whatever, but bottom line is you've got to be tough enough and you can't get frustrated because he's handing you your tail and you can't guard him. That bothers me. But I'll deal with that myself."
FORWARD STORM WARREN
On the game...
"Everybody hates to lose, and this was a game that we knew would be a battle. We were looking forward to it and were hoping it would be a lot closer game. For it to turn out this way, it is pretty devastating for us. We are going to have to get in the film room, break everything down and see what all happened."
GUARD ANTHONY HICKEY
On playing Kentucky...
"It was great, especially having them come here. We fought, and it didn't go out the right way. It was great to play the No. 1 team, and we are going to learn from this."
FORWARD JOHNNY O'BRYANT III
On his hand...
"My hand wasn't bothering me. It got hit a couple of times, but I just fought through the pain. Coach (Trent) Johnson told us to go at them. He told us not to be afraid so that is what I did."
On Anthony Davis and Terrence Jones...
"I think both of them are great players and very versatile. (Anthony) Davis is long, and he blocks shots. He can be intimidating to players in the paint. (Terrence) Jones has size, and he plays hard."
CENTER JUSTIN HAMILTON
On his overall feeling of January...
"We had an up-and-down January. I think we grew as a team. We knew this would be a tough stretch. Now we just need to focus on closing out the season and taking it to Arkansas."
HEAD COACH JOHN CALIPARI
"I was pleased with how we executed, especially in the last seven minutes of the game. I wasn't worried about the score, I was worried about us getting better. It's an eight-point game, and we have to finish off a team. We're going to be in many of those. Let me give credit to LSU. One, their big men can really shoot, and they make it difficult in pick-and-rolls. So what we did for two reasons was, I didn't want Marquis (Teaque) playing (Anthony) Hickey because I didn't want it to be a back-and-forth. I need this kid to just keep running our team, so I put Michael (Kidd-Gilchrist) on him. The size benefit to that is you can switch pick-and-rolls more, which we did a lot of. But, here's Michael defending his butt off. He didn't make shots, but had the two biggest assists in the game to Darius Miller on a three. Then he threw it back to Doron (Lamb) for a three and basically ended the game. So here he is, doing everything he has to, even though he's not making baskets. Anthony (Davis) was Anthony even though he got punched around a little bit. Terrence Jones, my point to him was, if this is who you are, then you should be this every game. When he went after that ball, four-straight jumps, come on, that's what we've all been waiting on. It's what we've all been waiting on, and he makes us different. Darius Miller was really good. Good floor game by my point guard (Marquis Teague), four assists, one turnover. I mean we were good today. This was one of the better games we played."
On what difference Terrence Jones can make to the team
"He just takes a lot of pressure off these young kids, and he needs to. He and Darius (Miller) and Doron (Lamb), this should be their team, not the freshman team. This team should be their team. And whether they are two sophomores and a senior doesn't matter. The other kids are freshmen. You can't expect them to carry the load. At times, we've been doing that."
On handling the physical play in the game
"We're getting better and part of that is Terrence. Now you have a 250-pound guy who isn't backing away, ducking in hard and going. Now, all of a sudden, yeah, Michael (Kidd-Gilchrist)'s not backing away, so you've got two. Anthony (Davis) can do what he does and now you've got to get Doron (Lamb) and Darius (Miller) to play physical. And now, all of a sudden, you put in Kyle (Wiltjer) and it's a different game."
GUARD DARIUS MILLER
On the play of Terrence Jones...
"He is a key part of the team and one of our best players. When he has it going, it makes it a lot easier for everyone else. It opens up everybody else because they are going to have to double team him. When he's playing how he is playing, it is great for us too."
On the points in the paint...
"We were trying to go with whatever they gave us the whole game. The first half they were giving us a lot of open looks from the perimeter. The second half, Terrence Jones got it going, and Anthony (Davis) made some plays too. We just tried to give them the ball, and they did a great job of capitalizing."
On his play...
"I am trying to be more aggressive on my shot. If I am open, I will take it. My teammates did a good job of finding me, especially in the first half. I just try to follow through and make big shots."
GUARD MARQUIS TEAGUE
On the play of Terrence Jones...
"He was scoring at will in the post. He had anything he wanted. If he drew a double team, he would kick it out and make the right play. We were trying to feed him the ball."
On stopping Anthony Hickey...
"I think we did a good job just trying to control him, keep him in front and keep him out of the lane. We contested his shots. We knew he liked to shoot deep balls, and he can make them so we wanted to contest them. We were successful when we put Michael (Kidd-Gilchrist) on him, he is very long. It bothered him a lot and made it hard on him."
On the 37-11 run...
"We came together and stayed composed. We know that basketball is full of runs, that's how the game goes. They made a little run, but we knew we were fine and just stuck it out."