BATON ROUGE - The LSU men's basketball team turned away a late Northwestern State rally and picked up a 102-95 victory Tuesday at the Maravich Center.
LSU (3-0) buried 32-of-66 from the field en route to a 48.5 percent shooting clip, while Northwestern State (3-1) tallied a 32-of-65 shooting effort to claim a 49.2 percent ratio.
The last time the Tigers eclipsed the century mark was versus Nicholls State back on Nov. 21, 2005 as all 10 LSU players who saw action scored a point.
LSU had four players register double figure points highlighted by Shavon Coleman's 22 on 8-of-12 field goal attempts. He has now posted 20-plus points in back-to-back games. The Thibodaux native also hauled in seven rebounds.
Anthony Hickey tacked on a career-best 21 points and equaled a career-high seven rebounds. He also distributed a team-leading six assists and added five steals.
Charles Carmouche notched a career-high 19 points sparked by an 11-for-15 clip at the free throw line. He also handed our four assists to go along with three steals.
Johnny O'Bryant III returned to the lineup and turned in a solid all-around performance with 13 points and six rebounds in 19 minutes of action.
With the victory, the Tigers improved to 3-0 for the first time since the 2009-10 season. LSU also moved to 17-6 all-time versus Northwestern State and has won the last nine meetings in the series going back to the 1956-57 campaign.
With LSU trailing 33-30 at the 4:23 mark of the first half, the Tigers ripped off a 22-5 spurt to turn the tables and grab a 52-38 advantage into the locker room. Hickey ignited the run with 10 points on a pair of three-balls.
LSU pushed the lead out to 72-51 with 12:14 remaining in the second half on a Malik Morgan's lay-up from Corban Collins. Morgan posted all six of his points during the second stanza and registered five steals.
NSU didn't go away and responded with a flurry of its own. The Demons pulled within four, 90-86, on a DeQuan Hicks lay-up with 1:56 to go.
Out of the timeout and 10 seconds later, Eddie Ludwig provided his only basket of the game off of a press breaker. LSU struggled at the foul line for most of the game but knocked down 10-of-14 at the charity stripe over the final 91 seconds of the game.
Northwestern State was fueled by James Hulbin and DeQuan Hicks who ripped off 29 and 28 points, respectively.
LSU continues its six-game homestand to start the 2012-13 campaign Saturday against Mississippi Valley State. Tip-off is slated for 7 p.m. from the Maravich Center, and the game will be carried live on 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. Northwestern State
November 20, 2012
LSU HEAD COACH JOHNNY JONES
"First of all, I'd like to say that I knew coming in it was going to be a hard fought basketball game. You have to give a lot of credit to Northwestern State, and the type of job that Coach McConathy has done with that program over the years. Tremendous basketball team, very talented and very well-coached. I knew even late I told our guys, 'this game is a long way from being over', because I knew those guys didn't have any quit in them. Rhey would continue to battle and continue to fight. We scored 102 points, which I think is exciting. We gave up 95 points at home, which I think is really discouraging for us because I think we're a much better defensive basketball team. I think if we would have executed offensively, being at the free throw line, making our free throws. This game possibly could have been over with a lot sooner, a lot earlier. We did not do that, and it's just something that we have to continue to work on. We have great shooters on this team. It's just a matter of seeing that ball go through the net, becoming more confident and that will happen. I am satisfied that we are able to sit here tonight with a victory and have to work those things out, instead of having a setback that the free throw line caused this tonight.
On being more upset about giving up 95 points than being excited about scoring 102 points...
"Absolutely, I told the guys in the locker room that we cant give up 90-something points. You give up 90-something points more times than not, it's not going to be a good night for you. Scoring 102 points, that generally doesn't happen. We want to try to score around 75 to 80 points and hold our opponents hopefully in the 60's at best. We want to hold them to a low field goal percentage shooting night. This group showing that not only scoring 95 points, but also shot 49 percent from the field. They shot around 71, I guess from the free throw line. We just can't beat really good teams night in and night out playing that way."
On the approach to tonight's game...
"I think we were a little passive initially. I think Hickey is a very good ball handler. I think we have guys that are very capable, and I thought we were a little hesitant. I think we may have overemphasized how aggressive their press was. I think forced him to be a little more hesitant and not as aggressive as he normally would be in that situation. When we got through their press, we had some great things happen for us on the back end of it. I didn't think we did enough of that. I think when you get a team like that, that extends your defense, especially with their post guys, you've got to do a great job of executing on the back side and finishing."
G ANTHONY HICKEY
On whether tonight's game was more of the pace LSU was looking for...
"Yes, we knew they were going to press us on the defensive end. We just had to maintain our turnovers. I know we had a lot of turnovers, but it was a great win tonight. We just have to learn from that."
On the most difficult part of the press...
"They got right on us right after they scored. We knew they were coming at us. Sometimes we would go to low on the baseline, and they would trap us. Then they would get the ball. It is all about learning. We are going to take it as a lesson."
F SHAVON COLEMAN
On how to learn and adjust to NSU's comeback...
"We knew that we all had to come together, especially when Johnny (O'Bryant III) fouled out of the game. We knew that we all had to come together, stay focused and finish the game."
On free throws...
"Free throws are something we work on everyday in practice. At the end of practice, we work on free throws for a good 30 minutes. We just have to keep working to get better at free throws. I don't know what we shot from the free throw line, but I know it was pretty bad. We have more work to do on free throws.
F JOHNNY O'BRYANT III
On how it felt to coming back from his injury...
"I felt pretty good. My calf didn't really bother me. I still think I played a little rusty, but I only practiced two days. I think I did well. I tried to give my team whatever I could."
C ANDREW DEL PIERO
On sparking the team...
"It was exciting for me. I had a lot of fun doing it. I am glad that I could give the team a little boost."
NORTHWESTERN HEAD COACH MIKE McCONATHY
On the game ...
"I felt like defensively, we did some pretty good things the first part of the game. Offensively, we were running up the floor, and we were getting the ball inside because we had flow into what we're trying to do. That's the first part. The second part at about 3:48 (in the first half) when they went on that run was that we started deciding that we were a half court team. They made a great adjustment, and Coach (Johnny) Jones did a great job doing something at the top and switching out the bigs. Our guys never adjusted to it. All we did was dribble across, throw it, go get it, dribble it across, and we had no action whatsoever. We did that for about a full half of the game. At the end, we started pushing the ball up the floor and picking them up in full court because we were able to make some baskets. We were also able to put them in a position where they had to make plays. They did make some free throws, of course, then we don't rebound some of the missed free throws. The greatest thing that comes out of it, well sure you want to win every game, but we came in here and competed. We found out we couldn't compete. But, we are a team that has to get after people and play for a full 40 minutes. We're not a half court team. We're not built for a half court team. We don't have the skill for a half court team. We've got to utilize the people that we have and attack. Our two bigs (DeQuan Hicks and James Hulbin) scored 28 and 29 points. That was awesome. They took our guards out of the game. They did a fantastic job, their speed was a factor. We've just got to make adjustments. We didn't make in-game adjustments until the game really, really well. We got a tough break at the end when it's four points with 17 seconds to go. That was my fault, because I told a young man (James Stewart) that he needed to make and get a foul. You know, that's one of those things. Overall, I thought it was one of the best officiated games we've ever been in."
On free throw percentage ...
"Our offense has to be inside-outside, get to the line and make free throws. We'll take 71. 4% any day of the week. We're excited about stepping up and knocking free throws down and doing it. I felt like Coach Jones made every move that he had to make, because we were up and playing and had control of the game. They made adjustments and did a fantastic job."