LSU Tops Rice

LSU moved to 8-2 on the year after a 65-61 win over Rice.

Bo Spencer erupted for a game-high 22 points and was one of four Tigers to post double-figures as the LSU men's basketball team emerged with a 65-61 victory over Rice Saturday to stay unbeaten at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.

Spencer totaled 14 of his 22 points in the second half aided by four three-pointers. Storm Warren posted 11 points and nine rebounds, while Tasmin Mitchell chipped in a double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds. LSU (8-2) improved to 6-0 when the trio of Mitchell, Spencer and Warren all reach double-figures this season.

Aaron Dotson and Eddie Ludwig also added career-highs with 10 and nine points, respectively, for the Tigers. LSU shot 44.2 percent from the floor as the Tigers have won 17 of 18 non-conference games at home under Trent Johnson.

It was Dotson who kept LSU from losing contact early with the Owls as he hit a three with 11:28 to go in the half to cut the Rice lead to four, 19-15, and then a layup that got LSU within two, 15-13, about a minute later. Dotson didn't start the game as LSU went with a three-forward offense in the matchup with Rice but came off the bench to add three assists, five rebounds and no turnovers in addition to his 10 points in 32 minutes.

Trailing 19-13 at the 9:31 mark in the first half, Mitchell, Spencer and Warren sparked LSU to a 17-2 run en route to a 30-21 lead with 3:12 left. Rice reeled off three straight baskets in the final 1:45 to draw back to 30-27 at halftime.

The Tigers led wire-to-wire in the second half and surged out to a 54-46 advantage on a Dotson jumper with 5:04 remaining. Rice got back to three points on two occasions, the latest at 57-54, before Spencer connected on a 14-foot runner as the shot clock ran down with 1:55 to go.

LSU made 6-of-8 at the free throw line over the final 57 seconds to secure the 65-61 win. Tamir Jackson poured in 19 points, while Lawrence Ghoram notched 17 points to pace Rice (5-5).

LSU cut down its turnovers from the Nicholls State game on Thursday, from 17-11, with 13 assists and seven blocked shots.

Mitchell's double-double was his third of the season, the 19th of his career. It marked the first home game in which Storm Warren has not doubled as he was one rebound shy of his eighth of the year.

LSU returns to action Tuesday against Washington State at Seattle's Key Arena. Tip-off is scheduled for 9 p.m. CT and the game will be televised by CBS College Sports. The Tigers return home for a January 2nd tilt against Utah.

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