Bigby-Williams' Nine Blocks Lead Tigers to Victory
Communications Sr. Associate
BATON ROUGE – LSU and Coach Will Wade took the first step in making some adjustments to its offensive philosophy and it resulted in a 78-57 win over Grambling State Saturday afternoon at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.
The Tigers won for the 12th consecutive time in the building dating back to last year, now the solo 11th longest winning streak in the history of the building. LSU won for the 17th consecutive time against Louisiana opposition in the building.
Senior transfer Kavell Bigby-Williams and freshman Darius Days moved into the starting lineup and both responded with good performances with KBW scoring nine points with nine blocked shots and Days just missed a double double with 13 points and nine rebounds.
The nine blocks by Bigby-Williams equaled the most by an LSU player since Tyrus Thomas blocked nine on Jan. 14, 2006 against Tennessee.
Grambling (3-4) had one player in double figures with Anthony Gaston scoring 12. Lasani Johnson had nine.
The Tigers shot 45.8% for the game (27-of-59), hitting 9-of-21 threes, but only 62.5 percent from the line (15-of-24). Grambling shot just 39.2 percent (20-of-51), making 5-of-7 treys and 12-of-17 at the line.
LSU (6-2) dominated the game on the boards with a 45-24 rebound advantage including 16-5 on the offensive boards. LSU and Grambling State both turned the ball over a good bit with LSU turning in over 19 times and Grambling 18 times.
The LSU Tigers led from start to finish and its best flurry came in the first four minutes when LSU jumped out to a 14-2 lead.
After a Days free throw in the first 12 seconds, Bigby-Williams got his first block on the other end, got the rebound and off a pass to Waters, Days would get a layup to go up 3-0. A Waters jumper made it 5-0 two minutes in.
Grambling got a bucket and then Bigby-Williams got a jumper to go and Mays hit a three to bunch it to 10-2. The final four points came on a Days layup and a layup by Ja’vonte Smart with 16:11 to go in the first half. Grambling would get the game back to five at 14-7, but LSU went to the brake up 10, 35-25.
LSU in the first three minutes of the second half pushed the lead back to 19, 46-27, on a KBW dunk with 17:07 to go in the contest, capping an 11-2 run. The Tigers biggest lead of the game was the final margin of 21 points with just over 30 seconds remaining in the contest.
The Tiger players now begin final semester exams on Monday morning, continuing through Saturday afternoon. LSU will next see action on Sunday, December 9 when the Tigers host Incarnate Word at the Maravich Center. The game is set for 1 p.m. and will be televised on the SEC Network and broadcast on the LSU Sports Radio Network.
Coach Wade will host his third weekly radio show Monday night at 7 at TJ Ribs on Acadian Thruway. The show will be broadcast on the affiliates of the LSU Sports Radio Network.
LSU Head Coach Will Wade
“Obviously it was good to win. We outrebounded them. We had 16 offensive rebounds. We have to continue to clean up the turnovers. We’re not going to beat anybody of substance turning the ball over as much as we did. We’ve got to be better there, but it was good to win. I thought the ball moved a bit better, especially to start the game. I thought (Darius) Days played great. I thought Kavell (Bigby-Williams) did a good job blocking shots. I thought our three-point percentage was better because we took better shots. We had only one or two poor threes that we took. We just have to fine tune what we’re doing and hone in on what we’re doing and be better at it.”
On the energy the team had to start the game with Darius Days and Kavell Bigby-Williams…
“We were up 14-3 to start the game. I thought that was a big product of those guys. Kavell runs the court hard and blocks shots. Days eats up a lot of rebounds. Those guys did a nice job for us.”
On the decision to start Darius Days and Kavell Bigby-Williams…
“We didn’t get off to a great start against Oklahoma State so we needed to look at that. I thought those guys gave us the best opportunity to get off to a quick start.”
On Kavell Bigby-Williams nine blocks (the most since Tyrus Thomas on 1/14/06 against Tennessee)…
“I think he did the job tonight with nine blocks. He did a great job. That’s what he can do and he’s going to do that consistently for us.”
LSU Guard Tremont Waters
Takeaway on game tonight…
“It was just another game that we had to come out and show that we have been working on our rebounding and just try to play together as one team and not everyone play for themselves, so I felt we did a pretty good job of that.”
On emphasis of improvement in some areas from Coach Wade…
“In practice, we did a lot of rebounding drills and we did a lot of rolling the ball out and diving on it and stuff like that to make sure we were all competing harder.”
On Darius Days and Kavell Bigby-Williams joining the starting lineup…
“Kavell likes to listen, so whenever coach tells him to do something, he is always open ears. He has a weird personality, because he says he knows what to do, but he really wants to listen, so when he is in the game and I am talking to him, he is like ‘alright, I got you next play,’ so I would say it is not weird in a bad way, but you are not used to seeing people like that especially at this level, so he is a pretty good person. Darius comes in and can play at the three and Coach put him at the three a lot today and he can also play the four, so just Darius being able to play the perimeter makes our offense more versatile.”
LSU Forward Kavell Bigby-Williams
On the effort to record nine blocks in the game…
“I just play hard and when you play hard, good things happen, so I was able to get nine blocks today and just help my team defensively.”
On how he felt to get the start and the blocks…
“I felt pretty good, actually I got to start today, so I just went out there and tried to play as hard as possible.”
Grambling State Head Donte’ Jackson
“I thought we competed really well. I thought our guys fought, and they found a way to compete every possession. I just think we came up short on the rebounding, the game, the physicality of an SEC team against our team.”
On the execution of his team …
“I thought we executed. It was just tough for us to score the ball sometimes with the blocked shots. When (Kavell) Bigby-Williams was in the middle blocking shots, he was making things pretty hard for us. It is what it is.”
On the play during the first half …
“I told our guys that they were competing their butts off. I told them to keep every possession, work hard, work hard, work hard, work hard and keep grinding it out. At times, we did that. We got stops. We made stops. At times, we just didn’t make shots.”
On playing on the road at LSU …
“Anytime you come and play the Tigers of LSU, you have to come ready to play. It was a big-time environment for our guys, kind of a low-major program, coming into a high-major program. They had to come in ready to compete, and they were ready to compete. At times, the skill level and the talent took over.”