LSU beat then
13th-ranked West Virginia 71-68 in overtime Nov. 26. The Tigers did
not, however, beat Northern Iowa Monday as the Panthers came to the
The loss dropped the Tigers' record
to 6-2 while the Panthers improved to 8-1 and chalked up another NCAA Tournament
resume' builder. An earlier win by Northern Iowa against then
Brady said his team suffered from a
lack of experience and faced exactly what he expected.
"I knew that was good team, they
LSU had grown accustomed to out-rebounding its often overmatched opponents, averaging 22 more per game than the likes of Southern, UL-Lafayette and UNO. But, Northern Iowa cut the LSU rebounding edge to one as the Tigers grabbed 31 and the Panthers gathered 30 despite having only one player see action who is taller than 6'-6."
The lone Panther big man was the
6'-8" Grant Stout, who mixed in perimeter jumpers and turn-arounds in the post
Neither team led by more than four points until back-up guard John Little drilled a long three-pointer with 7:28 to play to give the Panthers a 45-38 lead. LSU whittled that lead down to two three times during the last 3:24 and had a chance to tie the score after Northern Iowa forward Eric Coleman threw an errant pass out of bounds near the Panther bench with 1:19 to play.
But, LSU handed the ball back
without even getting a shot at the basket as Garrett Temple simply dropped a
pass outside the three-point line on the right wing with 1:03 remaining. Players
from both teams dove to the floor as Panther guard Ben Jacobsen and Davis
wrestled for, and eventually tied up the ball. The possession arrow pointed
Panther Coach Greg McDermott called a 30-second timeout to set up a play for Erik Crawford, who rolled out of a screen and hit a long three-pointer with 43 seconds to play to effectively end LSU's chances of catching up. Mitchell launched and made a long three of his own on the other end with 16 seconds remaining, but it didn't faze Crawford who stepped to the free-throw line seconds later and calmly hit two shots to salt away the victory.
"I think we played excellent defense," Mitchell said. "But they executed their offense real well. I think that's the toughest team we're going to face execution wise the whole season."
Brady said Mitchell is struggling
to carry the offensive load right now as the only Tiger player who can
consistently shoot from the outside.
Monday's game marked the return of Tiger point guard Tack Minor, who was forced to miss the first seven games because of an academic suspension. Minor played 12 minutes but did not score or record an assist. Brady said he was pleased with Minor's play considering he had only practiced with the team once before the game. The coach added he hoped Minor's return could open up some shots for Mitchell, who has been playing point guard in Minor's stead.
"I think maybe Darrell (Mitchell) could create some more shots if he moved around a little more," Brady said. "But I'm not unhappy with the number and kind of shots he's taking now. We just need to develop some consistency in our perimeter shooting."
LSU held a slim 27-26 lead at half
after Tasmin Mitchell knocked down a 15-foot jumper with 10 seconds to play. The
two teams played within an eyelash of each other, with LSU grabbing 16 rebounds
and Northern Iowa grabbing 14, Northern Iowa shooting 45.8 percent from the
floor and LSU shooting 44.8 and LSU making 1-3 free throws while
The lone edge for LSU, aside from
the one-point lead, was
The Tigers trailed for most of the
first 7:00 of the half, taking its first lead with 13:04 to play when Thomas
threw down a thunderous dunk thanks to a pinpoint pass through the Northern Iowa
LSU now faces what could be its
toughest stretch of the season, playing Arkansas-Monticello and
"Going on the road is going
to be awfully difficult," Brady said. "I'm familiar with