PARADISE ISLAND, Bahamas – LSU’s basketball team overcame a slow first six minutes and responded strongly on offense, using a 21-0 scoring run over the end of the second quarter and into the third quarter, to highlight a 120-59 win over Bahamas club team, Raw Talent Elite Tuesday at the Imperial Arena at the Atlantis Resort.
“I think we learned a lot from yesterday’s game when we kind of fell apart there in the third quarter,” LSU coach Matt McMahon said. “I was just so pleased with the character of the team and with so many new faces we found a way to come together, get over the hump, get the stops we needed and had guys hit big shots for us as we found a way to win. I think that carried over into today’s game. I loved the unselfishness that we played with, having 27 assists. I thought after a slow start on the defensive end in the first quarter we were a lot more disciplined, active and aggressive on that side of the ball for the final three quarters.”
Ten of the 11 players that saw action scored, including Jalen Reed who saw his first action after missing most of the summer workouts with a knee issue. He played 19 minutes and scored nine points with 12 rebounds and six assists.
“It was great to see Jalen (Reed) back,” McMahon said. “He has missed most of the summer with an injury and just got back last week. He’s had really good individual workouts here and was cleared to play, so I thought you saw his improvement on the defensive glass that was really good today and his ability to put the ball on the floor and make plays for not only himself but others as well. Really happy and excited to see him back on the court.”
LSU led by eight, 30-22, after 10 minutes before a 34-15 second quarter burst gave LSU a 64-37 lead at the intermission. The Tigers scored the final five points of the second quarter and the first 16 points of the third quarter to go up 80-37 and coasted home from there.
For the second straight game Tyrell Ward was a leading scorer with 18 points on 6-of-7 shooting, while Will Baker hit 8-of-11 shots to also score 18 points. Carlos Stewart added 16 and Hunter Dean and Jordan Wright each had 15 points with Corey Chest getting 10. Trae Hannibal had eight points and 10 rebounds.
“I thought Will (Baker) showed his versatility,” McMahon said. “He scored off the drives from the elbow area. I thought what helped him get freed up inside was that he set a lot of great screens and that gave him the opportunity to create an angle in the post. The guys did a terrific job feeding the ball into him. I was pleased in the second half that we were able to cut our turnovers down, only six there. I thought we were a lot more fundamentally sound than the first three halves we have played here.”
LSU shot 61% for the game (50-of-82) and 43-of-61 inside the arc (70.5 %). LSU was 7-of-21 from three-point range. LSU was 13-of-17 from the free throw line. LSU held the Bahamas team to 29.2 percent (19-65) overall and 4-of-17 from three-point range.
LSU outrebounded the Raw Talent Elite team, 61-25. The Tigers had 27 assists and lowered the turnover margin to 17, six in the second half. LSU got 14 points off turnovers and 82 points in the paint to just 22 for the Bahamas club team.
LSU’s biggest lead was the final margin of 61 points.
The Tigers will have Wednesday off and then will play its final game of the tour on Thursday against Argentina’s Obras Sanitarias at 1 p.m. CT at Imperial Arena at the Atlanta Resort.
“I think for us, we have nine newcomers and six returners, so these opportunities to play are priceless and we have to take advantage of every minute,” McMahon said. “Our biggest goal coming out of this summer is to establish a foundation for how hard we play, how we compete and the unselfishness that we play the game with on both ends of the court, so we have to be relentless in our demand that those things get done regardless of the score.”