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March 13, 2012LSU's stay in the NIT was short-lived as Oregon cruised to a 96-76 victory in a first-round game Tuesday night in Eugene.
The Tigers had no answer for the Ducks offense, which scored a season-high in points. Oregon made 58 percent of its field goal attempts - the highest allowed by LSU in a game this season.
LSU was unable to handle the Ducks' three perimeter players - Devoe Joseph, Garrett Sim and E.J. Singler, who combined for 54 points. Joseph, who was 11-of-17 from the field, led Oregon (23-9) with 25 points.
The Tigers (18-15) grabbed a 12-8 lead after a Justin Hamilton field goal with 15:37 remaining in the first half. Over the next six minutes, LSU scored just four points on field goals by Johnny O'Bryant and John Isaac. Meanwhile, the Ducks scored 24 points - seven from Joseph and six from center Tony Woods.
Oregon scored 50 points in the first half in taking a 17-point lead. In the second half, LSU reduced its deficit to ten points on two occasions - the last at 84-74 with 3:35 remaining. The Ducks then ran off 12 straight points. The Tigers didn't score again until a basket by Malcolm White with one second to play.
LSU shot 44 percent from the field, but committed 17 turnovers. Hamilton was the leading scorer for the Tigers with 21 points. Hamilton, who grabbed nine rebounds, was 6-of-10 from the field. O'Bryant contributed 12 points, but had just two rebounds. Storm Warren had two points in 11 minutes.
LSU's three perimeter players - Ralston Turner, Andre Stringer and Anthony Hickey - combined for only 26 points. Turner, who was limited to 23 minutes due to foul trouble, made four 3-pointers while scoring 14 points.
Stringer, who was 4-of-10 from the field, had ten points and six assists. Hickey, who was also in foul trouble, finished with only two points and four assists. All three perimeter players committed three turnovers.
The 96 points were the most allowed by the Tigers in regulation in ten seasons. Florida defeated LSU 102-72 in 2002. The last time LSU yielded more than 96 points in a NCAA tournament or NIT game was 1970. The Tigers lost to Marquette 101-79 in the semifinals of the NIT.
The margin of defeat was the largest for LSU in a NCAA tournament or NIT game in nine years. The Tigers lost to Purdue 80-56 in a first-round NCAA tournament game in 2003.
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