Nov 17, 2013 12:22 AM by AP
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Just one night earlier, Northwestern State found itself facing a double-digit deficit before bouncing back for a convincing victory at Auburn.
LSU (1-1) found itself in a similar situation as Auburn in its game against the Demons (2-1) on Saturday. The Tigers had a double-digit advantage early in the second half. Northwestern State rallied briefly, but LSU eventually pulled away for an 88-74 victory.
Four minutes into the second half, the Tigers had a 50-38 lead. The Demons answered with a 10-2 run. Two baskets by Zeek Woodley left Northwestern State behind 52-48 with 12:16 remaining in the game. Each team exchanged field goals before LSU went on a game-deciding run.
Over a 4Â½-minute span, the Tigers outscored the Demons 22-7. Andre Stringer and Anthony Hickey did most of the damage in that time for LSU. Stringer had three baskets, including a 3-pointer, and Hickey knocked down a pair of 3-point shots.
The Tigers had a 76-57 advantage with 6:53 remaining in the game. Northwestern State came no closer than ten points the rest of the game.
"I told our team prior to the game that (Northwestern State) would be ready to play regardless of what transpired last night," LSU coach Johnny Jones said. "We did a great job rebounding the basketball.
"Northwestern State wants you to take early shots on offense. We had to be conscious and try to be more inside-oriented tonight. We had to force them to play us there and then get the easy scoring opportunities from the outside."
Johnny O'Bryant and Stringer each had 21 points for LSU. O'Bryant, who was 9 of 15 from the field, matched his career-high with 14 rebounds to register his second double-double in as many games. The Tigers outrebounded the Demons 64-40.
"We just started hitting shots during that stretch in the second half," O'Bryant said. "Our guards started making shots. Hickey started hitting shots and Andre started hitting 3s."
Stringer, who had a tough shooting night, missed 13 of his 20 field goal attempts. Stringer, a senior, became the 39th player in Tigers history to eclipse the 1,000-point mark in a career. Stringer now has 1,006 career points.
"(Reaching 1,000 points) was big for me," Stringer said. "It's something I'll always cherish. Sometimes we don't take advantage of our size. We shot too many jump shots. I know I did. Coach (Jones) got on us at halftime about playing more of an inside-out game. We did that, and it worked for us."
Hickey came off the bench to score 11 points for LSU. Tigers freshman Jordan Mickey had his second straight double-double with 10 points and 13 rebounds. Mickey, who blocked five shots in the loss at Massachusetts, had six blocks against the Demons.
Brison White was the top scorer for the Demons (2-1) with 17 points, and DeQuan Hicks added 16 points and 11 rebounds. The Demons only had four second-chance points as compared to 32 for LSU.
"We made a gallant effort in the second half to come back," Northwestern State coach Mike McConathy said. "We came out and cut it to four points. But, they got out again. We made another run at them and cut it to about ten. We just could never get over the hump to make that happen."
LSU had the lead for almost the entire first half. The Tigers went on a 10-1 run during a three-minute stretch early in the opening half to go on top 17-8. A three-point play by O'Bryant started the LSU spurt. Hickey had a 3-pointer while Stringer and Mickey also baskets.
Northwestern State came no closer than six points during the rest of the half. A three-point play by Hicks left the Demons behind 34-28 with 3:01 remaining before halftime. Sparked by Darcy Malone's five points, the Tigers went into intermission with a 40-31 lead.
"We were not as aggressive as we needed to be in the first half," McConathy said. "We didn't do the little things that are necessary. I'm not going to blame it on the fact that we just got through with a game (Friday). We just didn't fight through that mentally like we needed to."