Improvement

The LSU Tigers got out to a quick start, showing more of an improved effort from game one to game two, and easily defeated Alcorn State, 77-45, in the Tigers opening game of the LSU Invitational.

Tasmin Mitchell, Storm Warren and Alex Farrer led a balanced scoring attack for the Tigers. Mitchell, who played just 18 minutes, finished with 12 points and six rebounds. He made 4-of-6 field goal attempts, and all four of his free throws.

 

Warren, playing in just his second collegiate game, had a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds. He also recorded four blocked shots and two assists. Farrer, who made a pair of three-pointers, also finished with 11 points.

 

Troy Jackson was the only player to score in double figures for the Braves, notching 16 points.

 

LSU tied the long-standing school record for blocked shots with 16 in the contest, equaling the mark set by the Shaquille O’Neal-Stanley Roberts led Tigers in a game with Texas on Jan. 2, 1990. Besides Warren’s four blocks, Chris Johnson also had four and Delwan Graham had three swats.

 

LSU pulled down 55 rebounds to win the battle of the boards, 55-38 and held Alcorn State to just 20.6 percent from the field (13-of-63). LSU shot 41.8 percent for the game (28-of-67) but hit seven treys and 14-of-18 from the stripe. LSU had 20 assists and 13 turnovers, while forcing 14 Alcorn turnovers that resulted in 17 points.

 

All 12 players dressed played at least seven minutes and three non-starters – Chris Bass, Warren and Farrer – played the most minutes (22).

 

“We had two and a half days of very intense practice,” said LSU Coach Trent Johnson. “Obviously, with all respect due to Alcorn State, we are bigger, stronger and quicker and I know they will improve as a basketball team as the year goes on. Our big emphasis is going to be on ourselves regardless of who we play, where we play and when we play.

 

“I mentioned to (the team) right after the game, that our schedule is set up so that each team we play moving forward is a better team than the team we played (Thursday),” added Johnson. “We play Northwestern State on Sunday and we played them last year when I was at Stanford. It was a six-point ball game at the half. Mike (McConathy) does an excellent job as their head coach. We need to get a day off and then we will come back Saturday at 8:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. and get ready to go to work.”

 

LSU proved to be the much quicker team early on, jumping out 11-2 in the first four minutes with Garrett Temple hitting the first five points of the game. Mitchell got four off a hook and a rebound bucket and Bo Spencer had a driving layup.

 

LSU’s defense proved airtight as Alcorn opened 1-of-13 as LSU built a 15-2 lead with 12:48 to play in the half when Johnson went to the bench. On the first possession, Farrer buried a corner three and the lead went to 18-2. LSU opened the game 7-of-14 and 2-of-5 from the arc.

 

As the clock ticked under 10 minutes, Jackson had two three pointers and had all nine of Alcorn’s points. 

 

LSU’s starters came back and expanded the lead to 27-11 before the next five players for LSU came in at the 6:30 mark.

 

Anthony Ford hit a trey with just over four minutes to play in the half to become the second Alcorn player to score as LSU led 30-14 heading into the final first half media time out with 3:45 to play. LSU would lead 39-23 at intermission.

 

The two-weekend five-team, four-game round robin tournament opened with Centenary rallying to defeat Troy, 81-77. Troy (0-3) and Alcorn State (0-3) meet in the 1:30 p.m. opener on Friday at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center, while Centenary (1-2) will face Northwestern State (1-1) in the 4 p.m. second game.

 

LSU (2-0) will play Northwestern State on Sunday at 2 p.m. to close out the first weekend of the event.


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