Red Hot

Coming off their biggest win on the season last week against South Carolina, Trent Johnson's LSU squad put on perhaps their most complete performance this year during Saturday afternoon's showdown against Ole Miss in Oxford, winning 83-51.

The outcome of the game was never in doubt, seeing the Tigers jump out to a 12-0 lead before the hometown Rebel offense was able to net a bucket.


The Rebels showed the Tigers a number of defensive sets throughout, yet nothing could slow an LSU attack that struck from start to finish without hesitation.


"I thought we got off to a really good start," said LSU head coach Trent Johnson. "Our offensive guys shot really, really well. We defended well and just had lots of contribution from different guys."


Coming off of the best game of his career, Tasmin Mitchell gave the Rebel defense fits throughout the contest, scoring 17 points, grabbing five rebounds and logging one steal.


Garrett Temple scored 14 points in 31 minutes of action, hitting on 4-of-6 from three point range. The senior guard flirted with triple double numbers, logging seven rebounds and nine assists.


Marcus Thornton bounced back from a slow night against the Gamecocks last week to score 13 points and grab five rebounds against the Rebels.


More impressive, however, was the senior guard's defense on Ole Miss standout David Huertas, whose four point performance against the Tigers was the only time the junior guard was held to a single digit point total on the year.


"Marcus was disappointed in his last two games out defensively," Johnson said. "I thought he did a really good job of giving David tough looks. I told him to just get out there and be himself."


Rebel head coach Andy Kennedy attempted to slow LSU by switching to a 2-2-1 half court trap on a number of occasions, yet Johnson's game plan kept the Tiger offense fluid throughout.


"They pressed us, and we wanted to get [Chris Johnson] in the middle," Johnson said. "If they came with that pressure, we were going to the post guy to make passes, and [Chris] did really well."


As a result, the Tigers minimized the turnovers in transition en route to winning the overall turnover battle by a count of 13-5.


The Tigers were just as sound on the defensive end, buckling down on a man-to-man set that helped to hold the Rebels under 20 points at the half and to just 51 on the game. LSU was also able to hold all of the Rebels' starting five to six points or less.


Johnson also set his foot down as the dominant force in the paint, recording nine defensive rebounds and four blocks. The Montross-native finished with nine points on the afternoon.


For the Rebels, the lone positive to take away was the play of freshman Terrico White. Coming off the bench, the Memphis-native led all scorers with 22 points. White hit on 9-of-16 shooting, as well as 3-of-8 from behind the arc.


Murphy Holloway was the only other Rebel to reach double digit scoring, hitting on 5-of-7 shooting for ten points, pulling down five rebounds and getting one steal.


Malcom White led all Rebel starters with six points and six rebounds.


The Tigers converted on 33-of-68 field goal attempts (.485), 6-of-15 three point attempts (.400) and 11-of-16 free throws (.688).


The Rebels hit on 22-of-62 shooting (.355), 4-of-21 from behind the arc (.190) and 3-of-5 from the charity stripe (.600).


"We are getting better everyday," Johnson said. "It is a work in progress. As long as we can come out and compete we have a chance to win games.


"It's a four hour bus ride home, but it will be a good one."



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