BATON ROUGE - Charles Carmouche sparked a balanced scoring attack with 12 of his team-leading 17 points during the second half and was one of four players to finish with double figures as the LSU men's basketball team secured a 79-63 win over Bethune-Cookman Saturday at the Maravich Center.
Before the game, there was a moment of silence to remember former All-American Pete Maravich, who passed away 25 years ago today.
The Tigers (9-2) broke the 70-point mark for the 10th time in 11 non-conference games under first-year coach Johnny Jones compared to scoring more than 70 points only nine times all of last season.
For Carmouche, he buried 6-of-10 from the floor fueled by a trio of three-pointers. The 17 points was the senior's highest scoring output since his season's best 19 points versus Northwestern State back on November 20. The New Orleans native capped his solid all-around effort with seven rebounds, five assists and four steals.
LSU also received double figures from Shavon Coleman (14), Anthony Hickey (14) and Andrew Del Piero (10). Coleman also hauled in a game-high 12 rebounds to claim his third double-double in his last four outings, while Del Piero's 10 points were a career-high.
LSU ripped off the game's first 11 points before Bethune-Cookman (5-10) notched its first basket with 14:22 remaining in the first half. The Tigers pushed their lead to 19-4 after a Carmouche lay-up and led by as many as 21 points, 34-13, at the 5:09 mark of the opening stanza. LSU hit 12-of-16 from the floor compared to BCU's 2-of-16 shooting clip in the early going.
The Wildcats charged back with a 17-4 flurry of their own and trimmed the deficit to single digits, 38-30, going into halftime. Bethune-Cookman canned 17-of-19 at the foul line during the first half.
LSU returned its lead to double digits, 44-34, after a Carmouche trey with 16:57 left in the second half. The Carmouche triple ignited a 12-4 for the Tigers, which was capped by a Hickey three-ball, to make it 53-38 with 12:25 remaining.
The Wildcats got back to within eight points on four more occasions, the last time came at 69-61 on a Kevin Dukes three-pointer with 1:43 to go.
BCU's comeback effort was spearheaded by Adrien Coleman, who provided five of his nine buckets during that stretch. He finished with 16 of his game-high 24 points during the second half. Alex Smith nearly missed a triple-double with 10 points, 10 rebounds and seven blocks for the Wildcats.
LSU responded with 10 of the game's last 12 points highlighted by Carmouche and Jalen Courtney dunks coupled with a pair of Hickey lay-ups in transition to wrap up the 16-point victory.
The Tigers totaled a 52.6 shooting ratio (30-of-57) versus BCU's 36.8 field goal effort (21-of-57). LSU also held a 40-26 advantage with points in the paint and a 38-33 rebounding edge.
LSU turns its attention to conference play and opens its 18-game SEC slate Wednesday at Auburn. Tip time is slated for 8 p.m. CT from Auburn Arena, and the game will be carried live by Cox Sports Television/Comecast Sports Southeast. An online version of the telecast will be available via the Watch ESPN app and ESPN3.com
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.
The Tigers next home game will be next Saturday versus nationally-ranked Florida for the program's annual "Gold Game". Tickets can be purchased online at LSUtix.net or by calling the LSU Athletics Ticket Office at (225) 578-2184.
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.