Men's Basketball Blitzes UAB, 86-63
BATON ROUGE – Johnny O'Bryant III dropped in 13 of his game-leading 17 points during the second half as the LSU men’s basketball team collected its fourth straight victory, an 86-63 decision over UAB Saturday at the Maravich Center.
For O’Bryant III, it was eighth double figure performance in 10 games this season. He was 6-of-12 from the floor and added a 5-for-7 effort at the free throw line.
With the victory, LSU (8-2) improved to 17-4 during non-conference games under second year coach Johnny Jones. It also marked the second straight contest where the Tigers led wire-to-wire and had four players score 10-plus points.
Andre Stringer turned in a solid all-around effort with 13 points to go along with four rebounds and four assists against zero turnovers. He knocked down a trio of three-pointers which allowed him to surpass Ronnie Henderson (1983-86) with 190 triples for third place on LSU’s all-time list. The 13 points also enabled the senior guard to eclipse Anthony Wilson (1983-87) for the No. 33 place on LSU’s scoring list.
Jarell Martin and Jordan Mickey chipped in 12 points apiece on a combined 11-of-23 shooting. Mickey, the reigning SEC Freshman of the Week, secured six rebounds and tacked on four blocks whereas the 12 points for Martin equaled his second career highest output.
Off the bench, Tim Quarterman garnered career-highs with nine points and nine assists over his 22 minutes of action. The nine assists by Quarterman are the second-most in the Johnny Jones era. The Georgia native played a major part in LSU’s 24-9 scoring edge in bench points. Anthony Hickey tallied eight points, five rebounds and two steals for the Tigers.
As a team, LSU compiled a 32-for-66 shooting effort which included a 10-for-17 clip from three-point territory. The Tigers matched a season-high with 20 assists on their 32 field goals. The 10 triples for LSU also equaled a season’s best, and the Tigers connected for 12-of-17 at the free throw line.
UAB was held to 21-for-69 from the floor and a season’s low 30.4 field goal percentage. The Blazers also misfired on 16 of their 17 three-point attempts but were able to hit 20-of-26 from the foul line. UAB, the nation’s leading rebounding team, tallied a 48-39 rebounding advantage.
After splitting the game’s first eight points, LSU surged ahead by a 13-4 margin at the 17:12 mark of the first half. Martin and Hickey combined for a trio of three-pointers over a 68-second span.
The Blazers pulled back to 17-11 with 14:51 remaining, but the Tigers ripped off 11 of the next 14 points to extend the advantage to 28-14 with 11:55 on the clock. Five different players scored points for LSU as the Tigers connected on 11 of their first 19 field goals.
Martin and Stringer picked up 10 points apiece during the opening stanza, and LSU carried a 49-33 lead into the locker room. The Tigers garnered 14 assists on their 20 baskets in the first 20 minutes. Quarterman’s six assists were the most by a LSU player during a half this season.
UAB never got back within single digits in the second half. LSU’s defense forced the Blazers to miss 30 of its 37 field goal attempts which included 12 of 13 shots from three-point territory. UAB was paced by Chad Frazier’s 15 points, but he was bottled up for a 4-for-16 shooting clip.
Henry Shortess buried his first career basket, a three-pointer on the right baseline, on the right baseline. Brandon Eddlestone added two rebounds, and LSU closed out the 86-63 win. The 23-point victory equaled LSU’s largest margin of victory on the season. The Tigers also won an 89-66 decision over Southeastern Louisiana on Nov. 22.
After its holiday break, LSU continues its stretch of three consecutive Saturday home games to finish non-conference action when McNeese State visits the Maravich Center. Tip time is slated for 7 p.m., and the game will carried by Cox Sports Television along with the Geaux Zone on LSUsports.net.
The LSU Sports Radio Network will broadcast the game on Eagle 98.1 FM in the Baton Rouge 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 and @lsucoachjones on Twitter.
LSU vs. UAB
December 21, 2013
HEAD COACH JOHNNY JONES
“I thought our guys did a tremendous job coming out tonight and playing against a very tough, disciplined, hard-nosed basketball team. These guys have done a tremendous job all year, knocking off a North Carolina team who was in the Top 20. They still lead the nation in rebounding. They did an excellent job in that area tonight, but I thought our guys from start to finish played one of their better and more complete games tonight. Anytime you go into Christmas break, it’s usually where guys will check out a little bit earlier. I thought our guys did a nice job of punching the clock. They got here and did an excellent job of finishing prior to going home to spend a few days on the break. They played very confident tonight on both ends of the floor.”
On the performances of Jarell Martin and Tim Quarterman…
“I thought that both guys played extremely well. I thought Jarell came out and got out of the break quick. I felt like he got into a bit of a rhythm. He played well and knocked down some shots. I thought when (Anthony) Hickey picked up his second foul that Tim came in and did an excellent job on the offensive end of the floor. He made plays and made some extra passes. I thought the offense had a great flow with him. I thought on defense end he was able to help us because of his length. He didn’t allow those guys to have great sight lines and get good looks at the basket. He really made them play up over the top. That’s a huge plus to have those two guys perform like that against a team of this caliber. I think it says a lot about them.”
On Martin and Quarterman becoming more comfortable on the floor…
“I think at the end of the day both are freshman. I think they are going to go through what freshmen go through, but I think they showed tonight what they’re capable of doing. I thought they didn’t really force the action. I thought they allowed the action to really come to them and played well throughout. I think Tim wound up getting nine assists, and that’s a big number. We had 20 assists as a team. For him to perform that way really shows how unselfish of a player he is. I thought Jarell really competed on both ends of the floor and played one of his more complete games this season.”
On controlling the tempo of the game …
“I think that’s a solid team that we played. I thought they did a great job of taking down the inside and shutting down our post guys early. I thought our perimeter guys got us going. Andre (Stringer) and (Anthony) Hickey were able to knock down a shot. Then, Jarell (Martin) was able to step back and knock down a couple of shots because of the way they played us inside. That allowed for things to open up. I thought they did the right thing of making the necessary plays of punching it inside, and those guys were able to deliver in there.”
On playing against a team that leads the nation in rebounding and not allowing second-chance points …
“They’re a great rebounding basketball team. I think at the half we may have been three short. One of our goals was to make sure that we won the war on the boards. Going into the game, that was one of the key areas for us. They’re leading the nation for a reason, and they’re tough. I thought they got a lot of second-chance opportunities. They only shot 18 percent (in the second half). That’s a huge credit to our guys of what they did defensively, and there were a lot of second-chance opportunities to be had by them. That’s an area we’ve got to clean up. You’ve got to play every second and every play. If we do a great job of cleaning those areas up, then that 18 percent hopefully would have been lower for us. They’re a gutsy, tough and hard-nosed basketball team. They did what they do best. They rebound the ball, and unfortunately we didn’t win the war on the boards.”
LSU PLAYER QUOTES
Forward Jordan Mickey
On the difference between the first and second halves…
“We just had to go down and execute every play. We tried to get the turnovers.”
On the Martin and Quartermann’s game…
“It’s good to see my teammates coming out and getting some attention also. I’m not that guy who likes to seek attention, but it’s good to see them come out and have a good game.”
Forward Jarell Martin
On how this game helped his confidence…
“It brought my confidence up a lot. It makes me want to bring more to the table on the offensive side.”
On his fast start…
“Guys finding me when I’m open. My teammates did a good job of penetrating and finding the open guy. I just set my feet and knocked down shots.”
Forward Johnny O'Bryant III
On how they prepared for the first half…
“Just like you said in the first half. I’m always patient, I’m always trying to get guys like Andre (Stringer) and (Anthony) Hickey going. Screening for them, getting them open looks. That’s what was going on in the first half. In the second half, coach and my teammates told me that I had a lot of one-on-one looks so I just took advantage of it.”
On Tim Quarterman’s game…
“Tim’s always looking for the next game. He’s so unselfish, you have to sometimes tell him to take a shot. He was just a real patient guy tonight, and that worked well for him.”
UAB HEAD COACH JEROD HAASE
On having to change the game plan…
“As a coach, I feel responsible for it. We tried to make a statement with their size and efficiency in the paint. We wanted to double team their big guys and make them take long shots. Unfortunately, they made their long shots. The guys that we wanted to shoot the basketball shot it, and they made them. It goes to me as a coach, and it’s my responsibility to come up with a game plan. I feel like I let my team down in that area.”
On LSU’s offensive game…
“The bottom line is they are a really good basketball team, and they have a lot of size. We tried everything against them, but they were really efficient. Unfortunately, we weren’t effective in our defensive strategies.”
On Fahro Alihodzic’s game…
“He got into a little bit of foul trouble, but he made some really good shots. I thought our mindset was pretty good during the game, but we couldn’t really get anything done. We shot 30 percent from the field and 60 percent from the line so there wasn’t a lot to energize the defensive end. There’s no question about the desire of the team, but it was an ineffective game.”
On C.J. Washington’s game…
“He was able to move well, and he made a lot of progress each day. I was worried about him. Once he got into the game, he was able to get comfortable.”
On evaluating this game…
“It’s a combination of a bad game, and LSU playing a great game. We’ll give the guys some time to have off and come back ready to work. This game is not going to define us. Neither the North Carolina win nor any of our losses define what our team is. You have to move on and play better the next game. We have to learn from it, and I think we will learn from it. The next couple weeks will be a defining moment for our season. Our team and coaching staff has to get better and address some things.”