BATON ROUGE - LSU juniors Shavon Coleman, Andre Stringer and Jalen Courtney led the Tiger offense as LSU used a quick 7-0 spurt to lead wire-to-wire in a 75-58 win over Houston Baptist University Friday night at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.
The Tigers, back home after a three-game road trip, won for the eighth time in 10 games and the Huskies fell for the second straight game, dropping to 4-8.
All three of the players had 11 points each with Coleman getting his fourth double double of the season with a season high 13 rebounds.
LSU played without guard Anthony Hickey and forward Johnny O'Bryant III in the first game back since a short Christmas break. Hickey was "disciplined" as announced at the Thursday media session by Coach Johnny Jones, while O'Bryant III was held out as a precautionary measure after tweaking a leg in the Marquette game. O'Bryant III was unable to go through full practices Wednesday and Thursday.
Stringer continued his good shooting making 5-of-10 as Courtney hit 5-of-9 field goals. Coleman only hit 3-of-10 field goals, but added 5-of-6 free throws.
LSU spread the wealth around as four other players had nine points (Andrew Del Piero, Charles Carmouche (5 assists), Eddie Ludwig and Malik Morgan).
The Tigers shot 43.3 percent for the game (26-60) and had one of their better at home free throw percentages of 69.2 percent (18-of-26). LSU held Houston Baptist to 33.3 percent (22-66) and 0-of-8 from the arc. LSU out rebounded the Huskies, 48-39. Del Piero and Coleman each had four of LSU's 13 total blocks.
The Tigers established their dominance early in the game, scoring the seven points in the first 1:16 of the contest.
Houston Baptist didn't score for almost four minutes and started the game 1-of-14 from the field. After making its first three shots, LSU was then just 2-of-9 and Houston Baptist began to hit to cut the game at the second media timeout to 12-8 at the 11:25 mark.
LSU was overly aggressive at times in the opening half as its first five turnovers were all offensive fouls. Houston Baptist cut the lead back to 12-9 before Morgan and Corban Collins hit back-to-back treys to make it 18-9 for the Tigers at the 10 minute mark of the first half. Morgan then followed a Del Piero block by going to the line and making a free throw to give LSU its first double figure lead at 19-9.
It was all part of a 13-0 run that put LSU up 25-9 at the 7:53 mark. LSU would go to the halftime break up 36-25, as LSU would hold HBU to just 26.5 percent from the field.
The Huskies were unable to get the lead down to single digits in the opening minutes of the second half and LSU made the lead 20, 51-31, on a Carmouche dunk with 13:48 to play. LSU's biggest lead came with 8:56 to play in the game when the margin stretched to 21 points on the first of two occasions.
LSU will return to action on Saturday, Jan. 5 at the PMAC against Bethune-Cookman in a 12:30 p.m. contest. The game will be the final non-conference game before opening Southeastern Conference play at Auburn on Jan. 9. Tickets for the Jan. 5 game are available at LSUtix.net.