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December 19, 2012

Stringer leads Tigers past Anteaters

IRVINE, Calif. - Andre Stringer provided 11 of his season-high 19 points during the second half as the LSU men's basketball team bounced back from its first loss of the season and claimed a 66-60 victory over UC Irvine Tuesday at the Bren Events Center.

Stringer buried 7-of-14 from the floor sparked by a trio of three-pointers. The Jackson, Miss., native has eclipsed double figures in four of his last five outings.

LSU (7-1) also received strong performances from Shavon Coleman and Johnny O'Bryant III on the interior. The duo teamed up for 24 of LSU's 43 rebounds.

Coleman claimed 13 points and equaled a career-best 11 rebounds to secure his third double-double of the season. He also provided a career-high four steals.

O'Bryant III cleared 13 boards for a new career mark. He narrowly missed his third double dip in his last four outings with nine points.

Anthony Hickey turned in a solid all-around effort with 10 points, three rebounds, two assists and two steals in 21 minutes of action whereas Charles Carmouche added seven points to go along with three rebounds and three assists.

A big key to LSU's victory was a 21-12 point differential off turnovers. The Tigers were able to force UC Irvine (5-7) into 17 miscues. LSU garnered a 37.1 shooting clip (26-for-70) compared to the Anteaters 37.3 field goal effort (25-for-67).

UCI was paced by Adam Folker's 13 points, Michael Wilder's 11 rebounds and Derick Flowers' four assists.

LSU raced out to a 10-3 advantage behind six quick points from O'Bryant III during the game's opening minutes. He finished a spurt of eight straight points for the Tigers with a dunk and jump hook.

The Anteaters responded with an eight-point run of their own to knot the score at 17-17 with 9:29 remaining. LSU fired back with 13 of the next 15 points and was able to solve UCI's 2-3 zone as Hickey and Stringer knocked down back-to-back triples. Hickey tacked on consecutive transition lay-ups off steals followed by another Stringer three-ball to put the Tigers ahead by a 30-19 margin at the 5:47 mark.

Corban Collins, coming off a season's best 19 points at Boise State, added LSU's fourth three-pointer of the half and enabled the Tigers to take a 34-26 lead into the locker room.

LSU stretched its lead to as large as 13 points, 53-40, on a Stringer three-ball with 8:05 left. Behind 11 of the next 15 points, the Anteaters got back to within 57-51 after a Folker jumper at the 4:52 mark.

The Tigers answered the bell courtesy of a Stringer jumper coupled with a Carmouche triple to put the spread back up to double figures at 62-51. However, UCI's Damon Starring used back-to-back three-pointers to cap an eight-point flurry to make it 62-59 with 48 seconds left.

Eight seconds later, Stringer calmly hit two free throws to vault LSU ahead by two possessions. O'Bryant III and Coleman each split a pair of foul shots to put the finishing touches on the 66-60 win.

LSU concludes its three-game road trip Saturday at Marquette, who is receiving votes in the latest edition of the AP Top 25. Tip-off is on-tap for 1 p.m. from the Bradley Center, and the game will be televised by ESPNU.



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