BATON ROUGE - Shavon Coleman poured in 14 of his game-high 18 points during the second half to propel the LSU men's basketball team to a 72-67 comeback victory over Seton Hall as part of the SEC/BIG EAST Challenge Thursday at the Maravich Center.
A big part of LSU (5-0) staying undefeated and erasing a 16-point second half deficit was its defense. The Tigers turned up the full court pressure and forced Seton Hall (5-2) into 16 second half turnovers. Four different players committed five or more turnovers as Seton Hall ended the contest with 26 total turnovers.
Johnny O'Bryant III came away with 13 points and hauled in a game-high 11 rebounds en route to his second straight double-double.
Charles Carmouche turned in a strong all-around effort with eight points to go along with seven assists and four steals, both career-highs. Malik Morgan also chipped in eight points in 16 minutes off the bench.
After building a 35-27 halftime lead, Seton Hall connected a pair of three-pointers from Brian Oliver and Aaron Cosby during the first 20 seconds of the second half to extend its advantage to 41-27.
The Pirates led by as many as 16, 46-30 at the 17:16 mark, after a Eugene Teague jumper.
LSU fired back with a 20-4 run over the next eight minutes ignited by a Stringer jumper. The Tigers got back within single digits, 52-44, on a Hickey triple with 11:52 left. Coleman and O'Bryant III pieced together lay-ups coupled with a pair of Hickey free throws. A turnover caused the LSU press, and a Shane Hammink put back deadlocked the score at 52-52 with 8:55 to go.
The Tigers took the lead 60-58 on a Coleman jumper at the 6:06 mark. It was LSU's first lead since 1-0 during the game's opening minute. On the next possession, Morgan added a deep three-ball from the left wing off a Hickey pass to push the LSU advantage to 63-58.
Seton Hall answered with consecutive three-pointers from Cosby and Fuquan Edwin to grab a 64-63 edge with 3:43 left. It would be short-lived as Coleman buried another jumper to give LSU the lead for good.
The Tigers sank 7-of-8 at the free throw line over the final 87 seconds to clinch the 72-67 triumph, the program's second straight during the SEC/BIG EAST Challenge. Over the final three-plus minutes, LSU also forced Seton Hall into five minutes.
The Pirates were paced by Brandon Mobley's 17 points. He was limited to two points and three shots during the second half. Teague tacked on 14 points and six rebounds. Cosby and Oliver notched 13 points apiece to give Seton Hall four players with double figures.
LSU wraps its six-game homestand after an 11-day hiatus between games for final exams against Chattanooga on December 11. Tip time is scheduled for 7 p.m. from the Maravich Center, and the game will be carried live by Cox Sports Television. Tickets can be purchased online at LSUtix.net or by calling the LSU Athletics Ticket Office at (225) 578-2184.
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 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.
LSU vs. Seton Hall
November 29, 2012
HEAD COACH JOHNNY JONES
"First, I'd like to say I was extremely impressed all week after sitting there watching Seton Hall. Their tapes, their execution, the way that they have played this early part of the season. They came in here tonight, and they didn't disappoint. They did the same thing. At the same time, I was really pleased with our guys. The effort they played with for 40 minutes of basketball. Although the first half wasn't a great half for us, the second half being down, I thought they continued to fight. They continued to stay the course and some great things happened for us at the end. I thought it was a great gutsy win with our basketball team here tonight."
On the full-court press...
"I thought in the half-court setting, I thought Seton Hall did an excellent job of running their half-court offense. They were patient. They were getting looks that they wanted, and they were shooting a really high percentage. It was tough for us to turn them over. I thought if we extended our press and try to press them down the floor, we would forced them to try to play a little faster and speed them up a little bit that the game may kind of turn and get in our favor, especially if we could get some turnovers and some easy scoring opportunities. I think both things happened for us. We were able to get turnovers. We were able to turn the turnovers into some easy scoring opportunities. On the other end of the floor, I thought that they started rushing their shots when they were open a little bit. When they were able to get looks, we were able to rebound those and turn those into fast break opportunities as well. I thought it created some energy not only in our team, but I thought our fans really were able to get engaged and get in the game as well. I thought that really spurred us on."
On what this big come-from-behind win means for himself and the team...
"I think it's a confidence-builder. It's really great for me because it's something that I can really point to, regardless of what night it is. We'll look back at this night, the position we were in, the opportunities that we had. The big thing I always ask our guys prior to the game is if they're able to play for 40 minutes, and they were able to do that. They weren't dropping their heads tonight - they were never frustrated. They stayed in the game, stayed focused and some good things happened for us."
On the team's use of the full-court press tonight...
"That's really a part of our game plan. We were trying to get more into it. One of the reasons we hadn't been into it as much was because of the lack of depth that we have on the team. We like to extend our defense up the floor - I think it creates havoc for people. We can turn folks over that want to be in the open floor, and we were able to do that tonight. We didn't really have a choice tonight, and it's the first time that we've been in that position all year long that we needed to go to it. So we stayed with it tonight. It's something we'll have to make sure we have in our arsenal and be able to pull it out."
On how the physicality of tonight's win will help the team moving forward...
"It's great for me because we talked about another BCS school team from a power conference. When you talk about the Big EAST, Seton Hall - a team that won 21 games last year - I think it's a great indicator in this early part of the season when we're sitting here 4-0 (entering tonight). I think we've played some tough competition. Although they may not be BCS schools, I think they really prepared us for tonight. We were really looking forward to this game tonight because it was going to be a really good indicator in the early part of the season how much our guys have improved. We obviously know that we've got a lot of work to do, but I think that they understood going into this game that it was going to be physical. It was going to be tough."
On the different lineup he used in tonight's game...
"I think going in we knew their size match-ups - we knew how big they were and how physical they were. I thought that [Andrew] Del Piero has earned the opportunity in terms of playing minutes. I thought starting off the game he was big. We knew the post was going to go at us, and we didn't want to put Johnny [O'Bryant III] to get in a situation where he was going to pick up early fouls. We were able to guard against that. So in terms of our lineup and how we play, you have an idea of what you want to go into it with. I think as the game is going you have to just really go with your gut feeling who you're going to put it."
LSU Player Quotes
Guard Anthony Hickey
On the full court press in second half ...
"We didn't practice that, but we did great on that. We had a big defender on the front end, and he was able to get his hands on the ball. That was a great win for us."
Forward Shavon Coleman
On how Seton Hall's zone slowed LSU down in the beginning of the first half...
"We didn't think they were going to come out like that and play that much zone. We just had to get our offense to run our own zone, our own zone offense. We got the job done."
Forward Johnny O'Bryant III
On the similarities of last year's Marquette win...
"Like last year, Marquette came in and they were a team that everyone hyped up because they were I think in the Top 25 (Top 10) at the time. No one was giving us a shot. It was the same tonight. We fought hard. Coach Jones coached us great and all the guys responded. We just fought."
Guard Anthony Hickey
On the similarities of last year's Marquette win...
"We fought all the way to the end just like the Marquette game. This was a little tougher for because we were down in the second half, but we kept fighting."
On how Seton Hall's 26 turnovers helped LSU...
"It was the zone we had. Shavon had the front, and he was able to get his hands on the ball. I was able to gamble and get a couple steals. We just had the mentality that we were going to fight until the end."
Forward Shavon Coleman
On his offensive effort...
"It was just what the defense was giving me. We were just trying to force it out of them. I was open, and I would take a shot. I tried to always make a play for another player. I just came out there in the second half and executed well."
SETON HALL HEAD COACH KEVIN WILLARD QUOTES
"We didn't handle that (the LSU pressure) well at all. That's tough. You turn the ball over 26 times, and you still have a change to win the game. Turnovers have been a problem, but we have to solve that somehow. Two big plays - we were up 11 and we broke it (the press). Eugene (Teague) had a wide-open dunk and they slapped it off his leg. That gets you up by 13, I thought that was a big one. Then, you break it (the press) again, and Aaron (Geramipoor) misses two free throws when we're up eight. That could put us up 10. Then we just, to be honest with you, we lost our nerve a little bit. Every time we broke it, we got a chance to score. It's just a matter of you have a freshman guard and a sophomore guard out there. Last year, you had a senior guard. That's a tough loss, but I'm proud of the way we played. We shot 49%, we shot 47% from the three. We held them to what we wanted to. We said if we rebounded and took care of the ball, we win the game. We didn't rebound or take care of the ball so you aren't going to win the game."
On LSU's defense ...
"We tried to post up Brandon (Mobley) on (Shavon) Coleman who had not played defense all night. They were really pressuring outside, there was no help."
On Tom Maayan's and the teams struggles...
"You got to learn from it. You have to experience stuff. I thought he played very well defensively; he did some very good things defensively. He turned it over but Eugene (Teague) has 4 turnovers, (Aaron) Cosby had 5 turnovers and (Brian) Oliver had 5 turnovers. He (Maayan) is a freshman guard, first road game. He will get better, and he will learn from it."
On losing momentum in the second half...
"We came out, and I thought we had a chance at times to get away. But we let them (LSU) get momentum. We softened up in the second half defensively. We let them get some easy shots, some 15 footers and offensive rebounds. If you let the crowd get back in it, then the refs will just swallow their whistles like they did. It's a learning process, and that's what I like about our team."