Tigers take care of UAM 75-48

LAS VEGAS -- The LSU Tigers were given another lesson on the road to improving as a basketball team, a 40-minute zone defense, and responded with enough execution to walk away with a 75-48 win over Arkansas-Monticello Thursday night in the Las Vegas Holiday Classic being played at Valley High School.

The event concludes Friday night with a 9:30 p.m. CST game between LSU and Cincinnati before the Tigers return home early on Christmas Eve for a three-day break. The game will be broadcast on radio on the LSU Sports Radio Network Affiliates (Eagle 98.1 FM in Baton Rouge) and for subscribers in the Geaux Zone of LSUsports.net.

The Tigers are now 7-2 on the season, while Arkansas-Monticello has had three losses against Division I competition in the event to fall to 4-4. Darrel Mitchell had 18 points and four assists to lead LSU in scoring, while Glen Davis hit half of 12 field goal attempts to finish with 17 points and eight rebounds. Tyrus Thomas had another double double with 16 points and 10 rebounds and was credited with four blocked shots on the night.

Nate Newell led the Boll Weevils with 15 points, the only player in double figures for UAM. Billy McDaniel was the leading rebounder in the game with 11 boards.

The Tigers shot 43.5 percent from the floor for the contest (27-of-62) and 5-of-16 from three-point range. After shooting just 3-of-10 from the free throw line in the loss to Northern Iowa on Monday, LSU rebounded to shot 16-of-24 for the game (66.7 percent), including 12-of-16 in the second half. LSU continued its strong overall numbers on the board with 46 boards to 33 for UAM.

"This was the first time a team zoned us the whole way," said LSU Coach John Brady after the game. "I was proud of the patience that we showed and most of the time we didn't rush or hurry ourselves in the offense. We did what we needed to do and we kept trying to execute our offense."

UAM hit just 14-of-50 shots over all for the game (28.0 percent) and 7-of-29 in the second half. The Boll Weevils had just five assists and 22 turnovers.

Arkansas-Monticello had the advantage in the early going, jumping out to a 13-10 advantage on a bucket by Torre Doty at the 12:16 mark. But UAM would score just eight points the remainder of the half as LSU would go on a 9-0 run on layups by Darrell Mitchell and Davis, a dunk by Thomas and a trey and another layup both by Darrell Mitchell to go with a Magnum Rolle free throw.

The Tigers continued to move forward ending the half on a spectacular sideline half court pass from Darrell Mitchell to Davis just off the post block who turned and scored in the final 1.2 seconds to give LSU a 33-21 halftime advantage.

LSU gradually widened the margin in the first 10 minutes of the second half to 25 at 56-31 with 10:27 to go as the Tigers then began to try various lineup combinations. UAM closed the game to as close as 14, 59-45, before the Tiger starters returned to the game and finished the contest with the biggest margin the final score, coming on a Tyrus Thomas dunk with three seconds to play at 27 points.

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