LSU defeats Mississippi Valley, 75-50
BATON ROUGE (AP) — Shavon Coleman and Johnny O’Bryant III provided double-doubles to lift LSU to a 75-50 victory over Mississippi Valley State Saturday night in a nonconference matchup.
Coleman poured in 16 points on 6-of-12 shooting and tacked on a career-high 11 rebounds, while O’Bryant III garnered 11 points and 10 rebounds for the Tigers.
LSU (4-0) has won all four of its games under first-year coach Johnny Jones. It marks the first time since the 2008-09 season that the Tigers have started a season 4-0, when the program won its last SEC championship.
LSU, playing a more up-tempo style under Jones, broke the 70-point barrier for the fourth consecutive game compared to scoring more than 70 points nine times all of last season under former head coach Trent Johnson.
“People were getting to the right spots, making good passes, squaring up and then shooting, just like how we practice every day (during the second half),” said the Tigers’ Shane Hammink, who scored 12 points in his first career start. “We knocked them down. We didn’t force any-thing, the shots came to us and we took advantage of them. We made them pay.”
Mississippi Valley State (0-4) was led by Davon Usher’s 16 points. Blake Ralling added 15 points on five 3-pointers for the Delta Devils.
Andre Stringer tacked on a season-best 14 points highlighted by a quartet of 3-pointers to give LSU four players in double figures.
After misfiring on 10 of its first 11 field-goal attempts, LSU went 10 of 15 from the floor over the final 12-plus minutes of the opening half. The Tigers turned an early five-point deficit into a 33-23 halftime advantage.
LSU was fueled by a 20-4 run midway through the first half as six different players scored buckets for the Tigers. The trio of Coleman, Hammink and Stringer notched 10 of the points. Andrew Del Piero, a former walk-on and tuba player in the Tiger Pep Band, also tallied four points and four rebounds during the spurt. He finished with eight points and five rebounds, both career highs.
“Needless to say, I didn’t think we got off to the best start in this game tonight,” said LSU coach Johnny Jones. “I thought as the game progressed, our team settled down and played better. I thought Andrew came in during the first half and had a nice stretch of minutes there. The fact that he had an opportunity to play and was very effective helped us kind of settle in.”
LSU connected for a sea-son-high 55.1 percent (27 of 49) compared to a 28.3 per-cent clip (17 of 60) from the floor for Mississippi Valley State.
LSU controlled the paint and totaled a 36-6 edge on the interior. The Tigers also came away with a 44-29 rebounding advantage.
“We got killed on the re-bounding again,” said Mississippi Valley State coach Chico Potts. “That is one thing we have definitely been trying to get better at. We have to do a better job of rebounding the ball. That doesn’t give you a good chance to be successful, especially when you are on the road.”
The Delta Devils got within single digits to start the second half on two occasions — the latest was 37-28 at the 15:45 mark.
LSU responded with 19 of the next 25 points over the next 6 minutes to seize control and go up 56-34 on a Stringer 3. The Tigers led by as many as 30, 71-41, with 4:12 remaining, after a Hammink trey.