O'Bryant Scores 30 to Lead Basketball Past USC
COLUMBIA, S.C. - Johnny O'Bryant III erupted for a career-high 30 points on 13-of-19 shooting as the LSU men's basketball team opened a stretch of three games in six days with a convincing 64-46 victory over South Carolina Thursday at the Colonial Life Arena.
In the process, O'Bryant III became the first LSU player since Tasmin Mitchell exploded for 38 points versus Auburn on January 20, 2010, to reach the 30-point barrier. He also hauled down 10 rebounds to claim his SEC-leading 10th double-double of the season.
The 30 points for O'Bryant III was the most by a Tiger on the road going back to Mitchell's 41-point effort at Mississippi State on February 11, 2009.
Tonight's margin of victory is LSU's largest on league opponent's home floor since Feb. 4, 2009, at Georgia (80-62).
The Tigers (14-8, 5-6 SEC) have won five of their past seven games dating back to Jan. 23 after starting the SEC portion of their schedule with a 0-4 mark. South Carolina (12-12, 2-9 SEC) was handed its fifth-straight loss.
Andre Stringer tacked on 12 points, all of them in the second half. It marked Stringer's return to double figures since LSU's 73-70 upset win over No. 17 Missouri on Jan. 30.
Charles Carmouche provided a solid all-around effort with five points, eight assists and nine rebounds. The nine rebounds for Carmouche were a career-best, while the eight dimes was his second-highest career output.
Andrew Del Piero returned to the starting lineup for the first time in four games and responded with a career-high seven rebounds to go along with six points. Jalen Courtney also chipped in six points off the bench for the Tigers.
LSU carried a two-point advantage, 26-24, into the locker room, but used a 15-for-28 shooting clip during the second 20 minutes to cruise to the 18-point win.
Ahead 33-29 at the 16:16 mark of the second half, the Tigers seized control of the game and ripped off 19 of the next 25 points over the next eight minutes off the clock.
O'Bryant III ignited the spurt with seven quick points highlighted by a traditional three-point play to give LSU a 42-32 advantage with 12:55 remaining. The Tigers led by double digits the rest of the way.
Stringer capped the run and buried consecutive three-pointers 44 seconds apart to make it 52-35 with 8:17 to go.
O'Bryant III wrapped up his historic performance with a run of eight straight points for the Tigers. His two free throws at the 3:52 mark secured the 30-point showing.
South Carolina was led by Lakeem Jackson's 10 points. After scoring a career-high 23 points in the first meeting between the two teams, Michael Carrera was limited to eight points on 3-of-11 from the floor.
The Gamecocks controlled the tempo for the first 14 minutes of the game and led by as many as five points during the opening half.
LSU grabbed its first lead at 19-18 on a Carmouche triple with 6:23 on the clock. The Tigers extended the lead to five points, 23-18, after Courtney and Anthony Hickey transition lay-ups finished off an 11-2 spurt.
LSU continues its stretch of three games in six days and will meet Mississippi State for the second time in a two-week span Saturday at the Maravich Center. Tip time is set for 4 p.m., and the game will be televised by ESPNU. An online version of the telecast is available on www.WatchESPN.com.
Tickets for Saturday's contest, which includes a halftime reunion of the 1953 NCAA Final Four in their 60th anniversary season, are available at www.LSUtix.net.
The LSU Sports Radio Network also will broadcast the game on Eagle 98.1 FM in the Baton Rouge area and inside the Geaux Zone at www.LSUsports.net/live. Jim Hawthorne, Ricky Blanton and Kevin Ford will call the action.
For all of the latest news and information on Tiger basketball, visit www.lsusports.net/basketball. Fans can also follow the program on its social media outlets at www.Facebook.com/lsubasketball along with @lsubasketball on Twitter.