The Tigers won for the 15th consecutive time in the building dating back to the final three games of the 2007-08 season, the fifth longest winning streak in the 38-years of the PMAC. LSU also picked up its seventh win of the season at home over a Louisiana school and its 74th consecutive win at home over a Louisiana school dating back to the start of the streak over 20 years ago on Dec. 8, 1988.
But unlike the last two Louisiana contests against McNeese and Louisiana-Lafayette this one did not go down to the wire after LSU (12-1) moved out in the first part of the second 20 minutes.
The Tigers used the scoring of Tasmin Mitchell, Marcus Thornton and Bo Spencer to put this game away and the defensive presence of resident stopper Garrett Temple who held leading scorer Kevyn Green to just three points before leaving the game in the final minutes. Green finished with six points in 28 minutes.
Mitchell hit for 24 points, while Thornton was the leading scorer for LSU, getting his fifth 30-plus point game with a season high 33 points with three assists and two steals. LSU had just five turnovers in the contest while forcing 18 for the Lions.
Patrick Sullivan led Southeastern (6-7) with 17 points, while Warrell Span had 12. Brandon Fortenberry added 10.
“I thought we were pretty good in all phases,” said LSU coach Trent Johnson. “Offensively, to start the game we got some quick shots that were good shots that didn’t go down for us, but we kept our poise and really defended. I thought for the most part they were really disappointed in their defensive performance and execution against Louisiana-Lafayette, so there was a concentrated effort. We beat a good team. It feels good and they feel good.”
LSU led 39-31 at the intermission, but Southeastern got the first four points to cut it to 39-35 at the 18:40 mark. From there the Tigers used a 15-3 run, powered primarily by Mitchell and Thornton to up the game to 54-38 at the 14:49 mark. From there the Tigers slowly expanded the lead, getting to 20, 67-47, at the 9:09 mark on a Mitchell jumper and as much as 30 on three occasions in the final three minutes.
LSU now travels Monday morning to Salt Lake City to take on the University of Utah on Tuesday night at 8 p.m. CST. The Tigers open Southeastern Conference play on Sunday, Jan. 11, at 12:30 p.m. at Alabama.
“Hopefully we can take this as momentum and move forward because we are facing a different type of team right now. I was an assistant coach at the University of Utah for three years,” Johnson said. “It is a very educated fan base there and an institution that really understands basketball. They are big, strong and physical.”