ORLANDO, Fla. – LSU (4-1) delivered its strongest performance of the young season Thanksgiving night, running past Saint Joseph's (PA) 82-65 in the opening round of the Old Spice Classic.
The Tigers were fueled by four players in double figures, including senior guard Andre Stringer, who posted 18 points and six assists. Freshman Jordan Mickey posted his fourth double-double in five games, with 14 points and 10 rebounds, while fellow frosh Jarell Martin had 15 points and big man Johnny O'Bryant III scored 11 points and grabbed eight rebounds.
Senior forward Ron Roberts was dynamic on the offensive end of the floor for the Hawks, 2-2 on the season, putting in a game-high 21 points, pulling down seven boards and blocking two shots. Halil Kanacevic was the only other St. Joe's player in double figures with 12 points.
LSU will face off with the other Tigers in the tournament, Memphis, Friday at 5:30 p.m. ET, while the Hawks will do battle with Siena at 8 p.m. ET.
THREE-POINT PLAY: LSU
- Andre Stringer on LSU's line shift in first half: "It says a lot about what we do in practice, and it says a lot about our coaching staff. They were more tenacious at the time, and they started it up for us."
- Johnny Jones on if focus was stopping Langston Galloway: "Absolutely not. Our focus was St. Joe's. They're a very good and talented basketball team, very balanced. They've shown that in how they've played in the early part of this season. They unfortunately went at us inside early and had some success … Our concern was out there on that (three-point) line. We wanted to make sure we kept those guys in check instead of sagging down on their post guys."
- Jones on Memphis: "They're a very tough basketball team. We know that. They have steady guard play and post presence inside. We're going to have to do a good job of rebounding the basketball. We're playing a very dangerous team tomorrow."
THREE-POINT PLAY: ST. JOE'S
- Phil Martelli on Ron Roberts: "This is a team full of beautiful character kids, and that's why I'm really optimistic about how they'll bounce back tomorrow night. Ron, he's worked on his game. He's been the most improved player on our team three years in a row … When Ron goes back, one of the things he'll tell you is ‘I had three turnovers.' That's an area we'll want him to improve on. This game they played him one on one. I'm happy for him. He's a product of a very good family."
- Martelli on Siena: "I don't know anything to be honest. I pride myself on, these last 12 days, zeroing in on LSU. The first week we concentrated on ourselves, but this last week (it was all LSU) … I'll do the numbers tonight on Siena and then tomorrow morning, probably at 5 a.m. I'll watch two games."
- Numbers Watch: The Hawks turned it over only 12 times, compared to 16 by the Tigers … LSU out-rebounded St. Joe's 38-29 … Each team had 36 points in the paint … The Tigers finished with 17 assists to only six from SJU … The Hawks got to the line 26 times, making only 12, while LSU made it to the stripe 15 times, netting 12 of those attempts.
FINAL: LSU 82 - Saint Joseph's 65
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