Tigers bounce back, clobber Commodores

Collis Temple III buried five three pointers en route to a 19-point performance as the LSU Tigers drilled visiting Vanderbilt 79-60. <br><br> Temple was 6-of-7 from the field in the first half hitting 5-of-6 treys as the Tigers (14-8, 3-7 SEC) put away the Commodores early in the evening

Vanderbilt's Matt Freije, who led the Dores with 27 points, knocked down a three-point basket with 15:17 left in the first half, putting Vandy on top 8-7. The Commodores did not score again until a Corey Smith lay-in at the 5:36 mark.

 

In the meantime, the Tigers, paced by Temple's hot hand, put together an impressive 27-0 run holding Vanderbilt scoreless for nearly 10 minutes (9:41).

 

"After the game I went to the locker room and I wrote on the board: South Carolina 58, Auburn 56 and Vandy 60," LSU head coach John Brady said. "That is because in all three games we defended well and we rebounded the ball well. I said that's what we are going to start concentrating on and other things worked out."

 

Whether the sports psychologist Brady brought in earlier in the week helped or it was just his team's night, the Tigers broke free from a miserable month-long offensive slump and did so just in the nick of time. LSU connected on 29-of-56 shots (51.8-percent) from the field and was impressive in converting 10-of-15 (66.7-percent) three-point attempts.

 

"If some people are going to say I'm a bad coach when we miss shots, then I am a good coach tonight, because they went in," Brady said.

 

Dupree began the Tigers' run with a short-jumper with 14:53 left to go in the first half. LSU scored 25 more before Vanderbilt scored again, 12 of which came on four, three-point shots by Temple. The fourth Temple trey came with 7:14 left in the first half; LSU led 34-8.

 

"That is what we have to do to win games," Dupree said. "Guys have to hit open shots and finally our perimeter was able to do that for the most part. When we are shooting like that it is hard to beat us because we have an inside and outside presence."

 

Commodores' head coach Kevin Stallings could only sit by and watch as his team was shut down offensively for a large portion of the first half.

 

"They threw a good punch at us in the first half, instead of us throwing the punch first," Stallings said.

 

Brady was impressed with his team's devastating run.

 

"That is about as good a basketball as a team can play," Brady said.

 

Brady said the fact Temple has been battling the flu the last couple of days may have been the secret of his success. Temple has a tendency to overwork himself when his shots are not falling.

 

"Maybe the best thing for Collis is the fact he has been in the bed the last two days," Brady said. "He came in relaxed. He got away from shooting the ball for a few days and cleared his head. You have to let it go sometimes and he did."

 

Four LSU players finished in double figures with temple leading the way. Torris Bright finished with 17 points on 6-of-9 shooting while Dupree had 16 (7-11 from the field). Antonio Hudson broke out of a horrendous slump to score 12 points on 4-of-7 shooting.

 

"I'm glad to see Antonio Hudson play better," Brady said. "Ronald (Dupree) continued to play well even though he tried to score too quickly when we had the lead." 

 

From a rebounding standpoint, the Tigers had 38 boards compared to 33 by the Commodores. Jaime Lloreda pulled down 10 rebounds; Dupree had nine while Hudson collected eight.

 

Vanderbilt outscored LSU 39-35 in the second half, but it was not enough to erase the 23-point first half deficit. Freije led Vanderbilt with 27 points, 17 of which came in the second half. Brian Thornton was the only other Commodore in double figures with 12.

 

"If we would have competed with the level of intensity we had in the second half, in the first half, we would have at least been in the game," Stallings said. "In the second half, we did a much better job of doing things that we try do as a basketball team."


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