THIBODAUX – Down 46-40 early in the second half, LSU used an 11-0 run to take the lead for good and go on to a 74-62 win Saturday afternoon over Nicholls State University at Stopher Gymnasium in an NCAA charity exhibition.
The contest, played before a nice crowd of fans from both schools, benefitted Hurricane Ida relief efforts in the Houma-Thibodaux area.
“We had a lot of guys who haven’t played a lot and I think they wanted to come out and prove themselves,” LSU Coach Will Wade said. “They wanted to prove that they are good players too. We didn’t have a lot of our name guys so I think we had some guys that played with an edge because they wanted to come out and show everyone who they are.”
LSU had trailed 34-30 at intermission after leading most of the first half as the Colonels, who unveiled their 2021 Southland Conference championship banner prior to the game, had success getting to the free throw line, hitting 10-of-12 compared to just 1-of-3 for the Tigers.
But after getting the 46-40 advantage in the first few minutes of the second half, the Tigers were able to hit a three, make some defensive stops and culminated an 11-0 run with three free throws by Parker Edwards to take a 51-46 advantage with 12 minutes to play. The Tigers would push the lead to eight at 59-51, outscoring Nicholls 19-5, entering the final 7:37 of the contest.
LSU asserted its muscle and got to the free throw line 18 times in the second half, making 16 while the Tigers defended without fouling as Nicholls was just 1-of-3 at the stripe in the second half and made just 3-of-15 attempts.
LSU was limited as along with Adam Miller’s right leg injury earlier in the week that is expected to cause him to miss the season, the Tigers were without Darius Days, Xavier Pinson, Efton Reid, Justice Williams and Shareef O’Neal.
The Tigers started freshman Brandon Murray and Jerrell Colbert, sophomores Mwani Wilkinson and Eric Gaines and transfer sophomore Tari Eason. Edwards and Alex Fudge also saw action off the bench.
Eason played 36 minutes, hit 7-of-14 field goals including two three pointers to go with 6-of-7 at the free throw line for 22 points and an impressive 15 rebounds. Gaines had 15 points and nine assists, while Wilkinson scored 12 and Murray 10 points.
For the game, LSU shot 46.3 percent (25-of-54) with seven treys and 17-of-21 from the free throw line. Nicholls shot 36.1 percent (22-of-61) with seven treys and 11-of-15 from the stripe.
Nicholls was led by Devante Carter with 16 points, while All-Southland performer Ty Gordon and Pierce Spencer had 12 points each.
LSU out rebounded Nicholls, 44-29 and had a 32-22 advantage in the paint. LSU led for just over 29 minutes in the game.
Regarding the players that missed other than Miller, Coach Wade said that “we had some nagging injuries but hopefully in the next 10 days to two weeks we’ll have all five of those guys that are out back and at the end of the day we’ve got to do what is best for our program. But it was important for us to come down here because of the cause and to see what our young guys could do in a game situation.”
The Tigers open the regular season on Tuesday Nov. 9 at 7 p.m. against ULM in the Maravich Center for the first of five home games in 14 days. Season ticket information and sales are available online at LSUTix.net.