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November 24, 2012

Tigers go to 4-0

LSU got off to a very poor start against Mississippi Valley State at the PMAC on Saturday night.

More than six minutes elapsed before the Tigers made their first field goal. LSU finally got things going and coasted to their fourth straight victory of the season 75-50 against the Delta Devils.

Shavon Coleman and Johnny O'Bryant recorded double-doubles. Coleman, who once again came off the bench, had 16 points and 11 rebounds. O'Bryant bounced back from an unproductive first half to contribute 11 points and 10 rebounds.

Two other Tigers players scored in double figures. Shane Hammink, who started at one of the wings instead of Malik Morgan, finished with 12 points, four rebounds and three assists. Andre Stringer knocked down three 3-pointers as he scored 14 points in a reserve role.

"We didn't get off to a good start," LSU coach Johnny Jones said. "I was disappointed in our start. We didn't execute in the first half. Once we settled in, we did a little better job of scoring."

Six minutes into the game, the Tigers' only points were free throws by O'Bryant and Charles Carmouche. LSU missed eight field goal attempts and committed four turnovers. Fortunately for the Tigers, they trailed by just five points at 7-2.

A 3-pointer by Morgan ignited a 10-0 run which put LSU ahead for good. The Tigers took their first double-digit lead at 22-11 on a basket by Coleman with 7:55 remaining in the first half. LSU held a 33-23 halftime lead.

The Tigers broke open the game by outscoring Mississippi Valley 15-5 in the first eight minutes of the second half. O'Bryant scored five of his 11 points during that stretch.

"Johnny was more of a factor on the block in the second half," Jones said. "He rebounded the ball well. In the first half, he didn't come out and play like he's capable."

O'Bryant, who made four of his six field goal attempts, committed four of LSU's 22 turnovers. Eddie Ludwig started as the other post player and was on the floor for a total of six minutes. He was 0-for-5 from the field. Coleman, who played 33 minutes, made six of his 12 field goal attempts.

For the second consecutive game, Andrew Del Piero was a factor in his limited playing time. Del Piero had eight points and five rebounds in 15 minutes against the Delta Devils (0-4). Jalen Courtney, who missed the Northwestern State game with an undisclosed injury, was scoreless in three minutes.

"Andrew is doing a tremendous job," Jones said. "Everything has changed about him. He's been a tremendous asset. He's a player who is getting better with each game and with each practice."

Hammink was 4-of-7 from the field, including 2-of-3 on 3-pointers. Stringer made four of his six field goal attempts, including 3-of-5 from behind the arc. Morgan and Carmouche scored just a combined five points against Mississippi Valley.

"Shane responded pretty well in his first start," Jones said. "Andre gave us some real quality minutes. He shot the ball extremely well. We have to put him in a position where he can be effective. It's hard to guard our post players when Andre is on the floor."

Corban Collins started at point guard and played 12 minutes. He had four points and one assist with one turnover. Anthony Hickey accounted for five points, six assists and three steals. However, he was guilty of four turnovers.

LSU shot 55 percent from the field, including 69 percent after halftime. The Tigers once again struggled from the foul line as they made just 14 of 23 free throws. LSU limited Mississippi Valley to 28 percent shooting from the field.

The Tigers will return to action Thursday night when they play host to Seton Hall as a part of the SEC-Big East Challenge.



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