Tigers down ULM 88-57

The No. 7 ranked LSU Tigers faced an in-state opponent for the second time in three days on Sunday when UL-Monroe came to town.

LSU breezed past Nicholls State 96-42 on Friday night.


Sunday afternoon's result wasn't much different.


The Tigers shot 70.8-percent in the first half and Glen Davis (26) and Tasmin Mitchell (21) both broke the 20-point mark as LSU routed the ULM Warhawks 88-57 in front of a smallish crowd of 3,757 in the Pete Maravich Center.


"I don't know if we could have played better in the first half being that this was only our second regular season game," said LSU coach John Brady. "I like what we did defensively in the first half and offensively we executed well and didn't make many mistakes.


The game was never really in doubt for the Tigers (2-0), which opened the game with a 13-2 run. Tasmin Mitchell hit a three-point with 17:52 to go in the first half for a 9-2 lead then followed it up with a jumper. Darnell Lazare made it 13-2 when he banged in a layup at the 15:57 mark.


"We probably turned the ball over three or four times (in the first half) which we need to correct," Brady added. "We were efficient as we could be in the first half."


The Tigers continued to pound away opening up an 18-poiunt lead with 5:45 left to play in the opening half when Ben Voogd converted an acrobatic layup.


Darnell Lazare doubled up the Warhawks with a layup with 33 seconds left in the half opening up a 22-point advantage at 44-22.


"I felt pretty good tonight," Mitchell said. "I felt comfortable with my shot."

Mitchell said while he was in the zone, he could feel the team was clicking on all cylinders tonight.


"We are a mature team," Mitchell said. "We don't really even have to talk about. We can just feel it when we are on."


UL-Monroe coach Orlando Early, a former Alabama assistant in his second season in Monroe, said he thought his team came out too slow.


"I thought in the first half we played a little lethargic, almost scared," Early said. "Playing the No. 7 team in the country we didn't come out with the fire and intensity that we needed to have. LSU had a lot to do with that."


The carnage continued into the second half when a Lazare dunk made it a 48-22 game just a minute into the second stanza. The lead reached 29 points when Davis threw down a two-handed slam at the 15:00 and a 58-29 advantage.


"We want to work hard and try to win every game, no matter who the opponent is," Lazare said about the lopsided result. "Our focus and intensity was very good."


Lance Brasher hit a three-pointer for the Warhawks with 11:53 to play to get as close as 22 points, down 62-40.


But UL-Monroe could do no more.


A Dameon Mason layup gave LSU a 31-point lead with 3:46 left to play and the lead reached its widest margin when Mason converted another layup for a 36-point advantage – up 88-52.


Davis led all scorers with 26 points and eight rebounds. The 6-9 junior was 10 of 15 from the floor and 6 of 9 from the charity stripe. Mitchell was equally impressive from the field hitting 7 of 8 shots, including a 5 of 6 clip from the three-point line. Darnell Lazare quietly piled on 16 points on 8 of 10 shooting and Mason rounded out the double-digit scorers with 10 points and was 5 of 7 from the field.


ULM was led by Brasher, who scored 14 points on 4 of 7 shooting. The Warhawks leading scorer – Tony Hooper – was reduced to just six points on a dreadful 3 of 15 shooting performance.


"Tony is one guy that if any guy on the team is intimidated, it wouldn't be Tony," Early said defending his star player who might have been a bit intimidated by his surroundings. "I just felt like he played bad. Tony plays hard and competes hard every time out, but I didn't think he had a good game. But again, that had a lot do with Garrett Temple and Tack Minor and those guys defending him."


LSU finished the game hitting 36 of 60 shots for an impressive 60-percent effort from the field. The Tigers were also 9 of 12 from the free throw line. UL-Monroe was just 21 of 64 from the floor (32.8-percnt) and made 10 of 31 shots from three-point territory.


"These guys have been together for a while now and they understand what needs to be done," Brady said. "The problem with a veteran team is challenging them to do it everyday no matter who the opponent is. This team is where it needs to be right now in my mind. I don't think we are behind in anyway."


LSU is off the entire week before returning home to face Wichita State, a team that reached the Sweet 16 a year ago.


"The good thing about this is that we have had two games that we can really grow and learn from," Brady said. "We are going to lift weights tomorrow, but not practice. After that we will have three to four days to practice to prepare for Wichita State. They have four starters back and are a very good team. I would be surprised if they are not ranked this week. Hopefully our fans will come out to watch that game."

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