While most of the state of Louisiana was focused in on the high school playoffs on Friday night, LSU was back on the hardwood for the first time since their 96-83 win last Sunday over Rhode Island and picked up right where they left off with a 73-58 win over Missouri State thanks to a big performance from Darius Days.
How It Happened:
After going down 5-2 early, the Tigers responded in a big way with a 12-2 run that was highlighted by a fast-break layup courtesy of Skylar Mays. The Bears of Missouri State fought back and got the deficit down to one point after a layup from Lamont Ward, but LSU was able to keep them at bay thanks to some highlight-reel worthy dunks from Emmitt Williams, who racked up eight of his 14 points in the first half. Both teams went cold though to end the first half with neither team making a bucket in the final 1:45, but the Tigers headed into the locker room with a 33-27 lead.
The Bayou Bengals started to impose their will early in the second half, going up by double digits thanks to some solid shots from Days to make it a double-digit ballgame with 17:45 left in regulation. Missouri State got within two points with 12:57 left, but a concerted effort from Charles Manning Jr., Williams and Days resulted in a 14-2 run that put the Bears officially out of reach.
BIg Number: 15
While the end result was what head coach Will Wade wanted, there’s one aspect that the Tigers struggled at; offensive rebounds. Missouri State beat LSU in the offensive boards battle with 15. Don’t be surprised if that gets worked on over the next few weeks as SEC play draws near.
Player of the Game: Darius Days
Days looked great on Friday night, leading the Tigers with 20 points and 10 boards and getting his third double-double in his young career.
“I was just in the right place at the right time and my team was finding me.” the forward said after the game, “Javonte (Smart) saw me in the corner, Skylar (Mays) saw me in the corner, Emmitt (Williams) got me a couple passes under the bucket. I was just in the right place.”
Next Up: Tuesday vs UNO; Tipoff at 8 pm