Tigers fall flat in exhibition

LSU head coach John Brady called off his last scrimmage of the pre-season on Monday, displeased with what his team was showing him on the court.<br><br>Unfortunately he did not have that same luxury on Thursday when the Tigers fell 78-69 to Global Sports at the Maravich Assembly Center in their first exhibition game of 2002-03.

The visiting All-Stars, comprised of ten former college stars, handed LSU its first exhibition loss since 1998. Over the last nine minutes of the game, the Tigers made only two field goals while Global Sports outscored them 19-9.

 

LSU managed just two field goals in that stretch, both coming in the final 1:36 when the All-Stars had already built a double-digit lead.

 

Despite the lack of offense, Brady told reporters after the game he was most disappointed in his team's ability to contain the opposition. Global Sports shot 48.2 percent from the field (27-56), including 10 of 19 on three-pointers. The All-Stars also converted 12 of 23 free throws.

 

"Any time a team of mine gives up 55 percent shooting in the second half, 71 percent from the three-point line…" Brady said, "We're lucky we didn't get beat worse."

 

The All-Stars had three players finish with double-digits in scoring, led by former Cincinnati forward Antwan Jones who had 17 points. Fellow Bearcat Erik Martin and former Ole Miss guard Jason Harrison each had 12 points.

 

Ronald Dupree, Collis Temple and Jaime Lloreda totaled 14 points each for LSU, and Brad Bridgewater finished with eleven points.

 

Torris Bright finished 1-of-10 from the floor for two points, but Brady was not so upset with his senior point guard's lack of offense as he was the lack of leadership he sees from his four senior players.

 

"The guys I was counting on to provide leadership for my team did nothing. Nothing." Brady said emphatically. "If we can't get it out of those guys, I don't know where it's going to come from."

 

One possible cause behind the Tigers' flat performance Brady listed was that the team might be buying into some of its positive pre-season expectations. He added that players expecting those results without putting forth the effort to attain them are going to continue to be disappointed.

 

Brady announced that he suspended junior forward Shawnson Johnson from the game for not abiding by a team policy. Although Brady did not say what that policy was, Tiger Rag believes Johnson did not comply with his coach's request to have his hair cut before the game with Global Sports.

 

"Everybody has their own individual thing, but it's not about individuality on the team," Temple said when asked about Johnson's suspension. "He has to understand in order for our team to be good, we need him there. Obviously if he doesn't want to abide by the team's rules, coach Brady will very quickly let him know that and push him away from the team…

 

"We definitely need him and I think that we'll be able to get the point across to him that…this is a team sport and he's going to have to abide by team rules."

 

"We'll see what he wants to do tomorrow," said Brady, "whether or not he wants to accept the policy of the team. And if he doesn't, then that's is his choice."

 

After trailing 33-32 at intermission, LSU took the lead with Bright's only basket, a lay-up, at the 18:41 mark that made the score 36-35.

 

The lead changed four times before the Tigers built their biggest lead, 58-54, on three-pointer from Temple with 11:15 remaining.

 

From that point, Global Sports went on a 14-2 run and didn't look back. Bridgewater's layup at the 9:20 mark would be the last field goal for LSU until Lloreda made a put-back basket with 1:36 left in the game.

 

"We know we can do better," said Lloreda

 

LSU tied the score six times before taking its first lead of the game with 7:10 to play in the first half. A fast break layup from Temple from a Bright feed gave the Tigers a 23-21 edge.

 

With the score knotted at 25 with 2:53 remaining, LSU failed to score a field goal over the next 2:19. A pair Lloreda free throws were the only Tiger points during a 8-2 Global Sports run that gave the touring team a 33-27 lead with under a minute to go before the break.

 

The Tigers ended the scoring skid with a basket from Bridgewater and then forced a turnover on their next defensive stand. Courtney Trask took a feed from the sidelines and drove for a three-pointer at the top of the key that went through as the buzzer sounded.

 

LSU trailed, 33-32, after a first half that included 11-of-31 shooting (41.9). For the game, the Tigers shot 26-of-62 (41.9) from the field, 4 of 22 on thre-pointers (18.2) and made 13 of 20 free throws.

 

The Tigers matched Global Sports with 37 rebounds and had the edge in turnovers (17-16), but the All-Stars recorded more steals (10-8) and blocked shots (3-2).


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