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December 11, 2012BATON ROUGE - Johnny O'Bryant III and Andre Stringer each fired in season-highs with 18 points as the LSU men's basketball team capped its season-opening six-game homestand unblemished with an 80-67 victory over Chattanooga Tuesday at the Maravich Center.
It was LSU's (6-0) first action after a 12-day break for final exams. The Tigers have won their first six games for the first time since the 2008-09 campaign and are one of 14 undefeated teams in the nation.
O'Bryant III and Stringer duo each garnered a 7-for-14 shooting clip. O'Bryant also hauled in 10 rebounds for his third consecutive double-double. The last LSU player to collect three consecutive double-doubles was Storm Warren to start the 2009-10 season. Stringer buried a quartet of triples and dished out four assists.
Corban Collins chipped in career-best with 11 points and distributed three assists to give the Tigers three player in double figures.
LSU eclipsed the 70-point barrier for the sixth consecutive game and registered 19 assists on 30 baskets. The Tigers checked in with a 47.6 shooting clip (30 of 63) compared to a 37.3 percent effort (25 of 67) for Chattanooga. LSU also held a 46-39 rebounding edge and notched a 38-20 advantage in the paint.
Stringer, making his first start of the season, sparked a key 19-4 run late in the second half. LSU had built an early 15-point second half advantage which was trimmed down to 55-53 on a Z. Mason three-pointer with 11:30 remaining.
On LSU's next possession, Stringer nailed a deep triple of his own. He also added a mid-range jumper to spark 11 straight Tiger points to make it 66-53 at the 7:41 mark.
O'Bryant III continued the flurry with a traditional three-point play on a dunk off a Shane Hammink feed. A Collins lay-up ended the spurt and gave LSU its largest lead, 74-57, with 3:49 remaining.
Shavon Coleman secured eight points and eight rebounds whereas Malik Morgan turned in a solid all-around effort with seven points and a career-best eight rebounds.
Andrew Del Piero made all three of his field goal attempts to total seven points to go along with four rebounds and three blocks.
Down 23-20 with 9:35 left the first half, LSU ripped off 22 of the stanza's final 29 points to take a 42-30 advantage into the locker room. The Tigers turned up their defensive intensity and limited Chattanooga to a pair of field goals during the stretch.
The Mocs (2-7) were paced by Mason's 22 points and Ronrico White's 17 points, both career-highs. Gee McGhee added 10 points for Chattanooga, which lost its third straight game.
LSU embarks on a three-game road swing Friday at Boise State. Tip-off is slated for 8 p.m. CT from Taco Bell Arena. The LSU Sports Radio Network will broadcast the game on Eagle 98.1 FM in the Baton Rouge area and inside the Geaux Zone at LSUsports.net/live. Jim Hawthorne, Ricky Blanton and Kevin Ford will call the action. There is no telecast for the Boise State game.