LSU hoops have successful Saturday

NEW ORLEANS—Behind a pair of double-doubles by Jaime Lloreda and Brandon Bass, the LSU Tigers beat Alabama-Birmingham 78-62 to run their record to 8-0. <br><br> The Tigers could have blown the game open in the first half, bolting out to a 25-14 lead midway through the first period thanks to a 17-4 run and held a 10-point advantage at the half.

The Blazers (6-3) opened the second half with a run of their own, an 8-2 spurt that cut the Tiger lead to two at 50-48 with 13:51 remaining. However, the LSU defense would hold UAB scoreless for the next 6:36 second which allowed the Tiger offense to score 10 unanswered points to push the lead to 59-48 with 8:27 remaining in the half and all but put the game out of reach.

Lloreda and Bass led the Tigers with 22 points apiece and pulled down 11 and 10 rebounds respectively. The 22-point effort was a career-high for Bass, the freshman from Baton Rouge.

Always the team player, Bass was just happy to come away with the victory.

"I really wanted to get a lot more rebounds tonight," Brady said. "I haven't been rebounding well. I'm just happy we came out with the victory. I just wanted to play hard and get the win."

Ronell Taylor led the Blazers with 22 points on 9-of-17 shooting. Gabe Kennedy also had 13 points in a losing effort for UAB.

LSU head coach John Brady continues to be pleased with his young team's effort.

"I think besides probably the first five minutes of the second half, I thought we really defended (UAB) quite well," Brady said. "To me, there was three keys to the game:  how we defended them, how we rebounded the ball and our turnovers.

"Their field goal shooting was low, 39-percent for the game. Our turnovers were a minimal 16 against a team that presses all the time as they do. They were forcing 23 turnovers a game. We were also able to really rebound the ball. I told our team that if were able to rebound the ball, they are some opportunities because their defense is so spread out that we will be able to get some offensive rebounds and we got 17 of them."

The rebounding margin was one of the major stories of the game. LSU out-rebounded the Blazers 49-28.

Brady was particularly happy with his team's ability to deal with the up-tempo attack from a very good UAB squad.

"We got a lot of points off that by putting the ball back in the goal," Brady said. "It was a good win for our team against a UAB team that I think is pretty good. I think it's the best team that we've played to this point in terms of a collection of players that are athletic and quick. They may not have the best players that some of the other teams have had, but they are a collection of athletes that are quick and athletic."

Only up by two late in the second half, Brady said the six-plus minute defensive shutout of UAB was one of the turning points of the game.

"Teams like UAB are going to come at you," Brady said. "They are going to make a run at you. You have to find out what your team is about and what are they going to show once they make a run. They cut it to two and we found out.

"What I was most proud of was we got it back (the lead) almost immediately. I told them in a timeout that we were not guarding with the same type of energy that we did the first half. So we started guarding and they missed some shots, but I thought the key was we didn't turn the ball over carelessly and let them have easy baskets."

Lloreda credited the coaching staff for preparing the Tigers.

 "We were ready for them," Lloreda said. Coach said all week long that this was a running team so we were mentally prepared for them."

Nearly 100-percent recovered from a hand injury; Lloreda credited his recovery as the driving force for a season-best 10-13 performance from the free throw line.

"My hand was starting to feel pretty good. I just got my stitches out and I felt good. I have to keep on doing it."

Lloreda was not the only Tiger to have an efficient night from the line. The Tigers shot 85.2-percent from the line (23-of-27), including a 10-of-10 performance from Bass.

While Lloreda and Bass led the talented LSU frontcourt, freshman point guard Tack Minor continues to improve each game at the point guard position. In 10 minutes of action against UAB, Minor had 11 points and three rebounds to go along with three assists and only one turnover.

"I think the people that have watched us play have seen Tack improve as we have gone along," Brady said. "This was another improvement game for him. I thought he had his best game the last time out against Tulane, but I think he had a better game tonight. He still gets a little bit carried away at times, but this kind of game was his type of game. He likes the pace, he likes the pressing, and he can get by and go through people."

Sometimes seeming like his is out of control, Bass said everyone of the floor has to be ready for a pass from the Houston native.

"You have got to be ready," Bass said. "He likes to penetrate and then most of the time he likes to drop it off. I have always got to be ready for that pass."

The Tigers now travel to Houston on Tuesday to take on the Cougars in what will be their first true road test of the season. The game is scheduled for 7 p.m.

Brady said he is excited to see how his young team will respond to their first true road game.

"I want the same type of play that we have had," Brady said. "Whether you play at home, in New Orleans, or on the road you want to do the same kind of things. We want to play with a purpose, play hard, take care of the ball, and take good shots and rebound it regardless of who we play against or what arena we are in.

"If we can get to the point with the team as young as it is and our leadership holds, we have a chance to be okay."

No. 17 Lady Tigers nip Florida State in Atlanta

by Brian Miller,
LSU Sports Information

ATLANTA – Doneeka Hodges and Temeka Johnson each scored 20 points to lead the 17th-ranked LSU Lady Tigers basketball team to a 75-68 victory over Florida State in the Russell Athletic Shootout at Philips Arena on Saturday afternoon.

The victory was LSU's (10-2) ninth straight victory.

Hodges, who moved into a tie for 13th on LSU's career scoring list with her 20 points, poured in 11 in the first half, while Johnson had 12 of her 20 in the second half of play.

The Lady Tigers used a 10-0 late in the first half to take the lead for good and take a 35-30 lead the half. LSU's largest lead of 13 came with 15:54 left to play and Florida State (6-4) was able to chip away several times and get as close as two points with 0:59 seconds to play, but Johnson nailed a jumper to retake a four-point lead and hung on for the victory.

"We still have a lot to work on to get better heading into Southeastern Conference play next week," LSU head coach Sue Gunter said. But, give Florida State a lot of credit, they came into this game ready to play and they proved it. They never gave up, but we were able to answer all of their runs with stops of our own."

Seimone Augustus added 14 points and six rebounds, while Hanna Biernacka had a career-high 11 points and eight rebounds.

LSU shot 47.6 percent from the floor for the game, including 50.0 percent in the second 20 minutes. Florida State shot 38.4 percent for the game, but outrebounded the Lady Tigers 42-40.

Tasheika Allen led the Seminoles with 14 points, while Ganiyat Adeduntan had 12 points and Shante Williams added 11 rebounds and nine assists.

LSU will continue the mini-road swing with a game at New Orleans Arena on Tuesday at 7 p.m. CST against Tulane.

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