Tigers top Nicholls 68-41

The LSU Tigers held Nicholls State to the fewest points the Tigers had surrendered since the 2002 season opener as LSU ran its home win streak against Louisiana schools to 65 consecutive games Wednesday night with a 68-41 win over Nicholls State University.

The Tigers will turn right around and play again on Friday night at 7 p.m. against the Southern Jaguars in a game moved from Saturday to Friday to avoid a viewing conflict for LSU fans with the Tigers playing in the SEC football championship in Atlanta in the afternoon, the same time the game was scheduled for.

The last time the Tigers surrendered fewer points was also against Nicholls State in November 2002 when the Tigers won 68-24. But that doesn't mean LSU (4-2) has solved the problems that have been plaguing the team on defense as LSU still gave up 16 offensive rebounds to the Colonels who shot themselves out of the game early, hitting just 16-of-53 shots, just 5-of-24 from the arc and 4-of-14 from the free throw line.

Marcus Thornton scored 24 points to lead LSU. Thornton, who was 9-of-14 from the field, scored 17 of his points in the second half when the Tigers expanded their 31-19 halftime lead. Thornton made four 3-pointers. Chris Johnson added 16 for LSU and Bo Spencer had 11, including three from 3-point range.

The 41 points were the fewest scored by the Colonels (1-6) in a game this season. Ryan Bathie led Nicholls State with 11 points, while Michael Czepil had 10.

The Tigers took control of the game with a 16-5 run during the middle of the opening half. With the score tied at six, LSU got baskets from Terry Martin and Thornton. Spencer and Garrett Green then scored all but two of the final 12 points in the run. Spencer made a pair of 3-pointers, while Green sank a pair of field goals. Spencer's second 3-pointer gave the Tigers a 22-11 lead.

Nicholls State cut its deficit to five points, but LSU scored the final seven points of the half to build its 12-point lead. The Colonels pulled within nine points at 36-27 early in the second half but the Tigers went on a 16-3 run to take a 22-point advantage.

"We got a little better on defense but were careless on offense," said LSU Coach John Brady. "Now we have to be able to be efficient on both ends. I thought we improved defensively and rebounded the ball a little better. We defended them pretty well and that is what we need to do."

The Tigers on offense when they were able to complete a possession, shot 52.1 percent for the game and 7-of-20 from the arc, but 21 turnovers were rampant from top to bottom in the 10-player lineup.

"We are learning and are a work in progress," said Brady. "We know that they are going to double team the ball screen and yet we made some careless mistakes. Hopefully through more experience we will get better at that. A couple of times we didn't execute exactly what we needed to or the way we needed to. We need to clean those things up."


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