LSU defeats S'eastern 72-62

It took some work by the LSU men's basketball team, but the Tigers did what they needed to do to extend their home court winning streak over Louisiana schools to 63 games Monday night in a season opening 72-62 win over Southeastern Louisiana at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.

Box Score

The streak, dating back to its start on Dec. 8, 1988, goes right back on the line Wednesday night against the team that the streak started against, McNeese State. The Tigers and Cowboys meet at the Maravich Center at 7 p.m.

Junior college transfer Marcus Thornton and freshman Anthony Randolph combined for 46 points to lead the Tigers to the 11th opening night victory in as many years for LSU Coach John Brady.

Thornton made eight of 14 field goals, including 4-of-7 from 3-point range, en route to 27 points. Randolph was seven of 11 from the floor and finished with 19 points, 13 rebounds and six blocked shots. LSU shot 51 percent from the floor for the game (26-of-51), including 6-of-16 from the arc and 14-of-20 free throws.

Southeastern Louisiana stayed close to LSU through the game's first 25 minutes until a 3-pointer by Thornton, with 15:14 remaining, gave the Tigers a 42-39 lead. That basket started a string of 14 consecutive points for LSU.

Following Thornton's long-range shot, Randolph made three straight field goals. A basket by freshman Bo Spencer and a three-point play by Thornton closed the spurt which left the Tigers ahead 53-39.

The Lions got no closer than seven points.

Patrick Sullivan had a double-double for the Lions with 10 points and 14 rebounds. Warrell Span led Southeastern with 14 points while Tavaris Nance and Dekyron Nicks each had 11 points. The Lions shot 39.7 percent from the floor (25-of-63), while hitting just 4-of-19 three point shots and 8-of-14 from the free throw line.

However, the Lions did take advantage of a weakness that Coach Brady had been trying to work against, the rebound, as the Lions out rebounded the Tigers, 38-29, and 14-3 on the offensive glass.

"In the first half, what I was concerned with the most was our inability to rebound the ball. They beat us 26-to-15 on the boards and they had 11 offensive rebounds," said Brady. "Our initial defense was not bad. They were 12-of-37 at 32.4 percent but their 11 offensive rebounds made the game where it was. In the second half, we only gave up three offensive rebounds and had three turnovers. That was the difference in the game."

Trailing since the game's start, Southeastern Louisiana took a 29-27 lead on a basket by Nance with 30 seconds remaining in the half. After a technical foul against LSU's John Brady for being out of the coaching box, Nicks made one foul shot to cap a 10-0 Lions run.

The Tigers, whose biggest first-half lead was 12 points, tied the score at the end of the first half on a three-pointer by Thornton.

For the second straight game (including the last exhibition) junior Tasmin Mitchell was saddled with early foul trouble and limited to just six points in 24 minutes.

"Obviously, we need to get better and we will be better," said Brady. "I was proud of our team in the second half for executing better, making some stops and getting some rebounds. We gave up way too many offensive rebounds, particularly in the first half, and we didn't get enough."

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