LSU defeats Incarnate Word, 91-50

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Naz Reid
(Photo: Terrill Weil)

BATON ROUGE – LSU ran its home winning streak at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center to 13 games dating back to last year in a 91-50 win over Incarnate Word Sunday afternoon.

LSU has won all six home games this year to go with the final seven home games of a season ago and enters Wednesday night’s game at Houston with a 7-2 record.

Incarnate Word falls to 5-6 on the season.

LSU’s 13-game streak is tied for the eighth longest in Maravich Center history.

The Tigers opened up a 10-point advantage in the first half only to have UIW cut the game to one at 24-23 with 7:47 to play in the half. The Tigers then went on a 27-6 run the rest of the half including an 18-2 stretch over the final 4:20 to go up 51-29 at intermission.

Four Tigers were in double figures in a balanced scoring night with Naz Reid finishing the game 7-of-8 from the field with 16 points, seven rebounds, three assists and three steals. Ja’vonte Smart also had 16 points to go with five assists. Kavell Bigby-Williams had a double double of 14 points and 10 rebounds, while Skylar Mays made it seven consecutive games in double figures with 13 points, five rebounds, six assists and four steals.

All nine Tigers that dressed played at least nine minutes and all nine scored. Only Marlon Taylor (33) played more than 27 minutes in the contest.

The visiting Cardinals were led by Christian Peevy with 16 points, while Augustine Ene had 13 points.

LSU shot 55.7 percent for the game (34-of-61), including 10-of-26 at the three-point arc. LSU was 13-of-17 from the free throw line. Incarnate Word shot just 31.9 percent (15-of-47) with three treys. The nation’s leading free throw shooting team (82.2% entering the game) made just 17-of-23 (73.9%).

The Tigers outrebounded UIW, 43-20, with 13 offensive boards. The Tigers dominated in the paint with a 44-16 points advantage and 22-14 on points off turnovers.

In the second half, LSU pushed the margin to 30 on a Reid three-pointer that made it 71-39 with 10:37 to play. LSU would lead by as much as 45, 91-46, in the final 1:35 when Marshall Graves hit a three-pointer.

LSU plays at the University of Houston’s new Fertitta Center on Wednesday at 8 p.m. on ESPN2 and then travels to Las Vegas and the T-Mobile Arena for a 10 p.m. CT game on ESPNU against Saint Mary’s in the second half of the Neon Hoops Showcase doubleheader. The Tigers return home for a potentially huge game against undefeated and nationally-ranked Furman on Dec. 21. Tickets for that game are available at LSUtix.net.

LSU Head Coach Will Wade

Opening statement…

“We’ll take it. We did a good job on the glass. Didn’t give up any offensive rebounds in the first half. Doubled them up on the glass which was good, but we’ll have a much different test on the glass on Wednesday night (against Houston). We’re still turning the ball over too much. I thought overall our defense was improved with contested shots. We kept them off the free-throw line. I was really proud of Skylar (Mays) and Ja’vonte (Smart). I thought they carried us in the first half. Marshall (Graves) hit a big three. He did a great job in his 20 minutes. Overall we have a lot of room to improve. We have a big week ahead of us. It was a good win coming out of exams. Sometimes those aren’t the easiest ball games, but we handled our business.”

On what he attributes the slow start to…

“Just getting away from what we were doing. We had a 10-point lead a couple of times before they cut it to one. We had a 10-point lead twice. We just had some poor possessions. We turned the ball over. We just didn’t do what we needed to do. It took us a minute to adjust to the matchup zone.”

On Darius Days’ performance in his second consecutive start…

“He did great. He did everything he had to do except he fouled too much. He plays extremely hard, gets on the glass, makes winning plays. He does a great job.”

On what has allowed Ja’vonte Smart to adjust so smoothly to college ball…

“One, I think he’s an extremely tough kid. He’s tough minded. He never gets too high, never gets too low. He’s been raised very, very well by his family. He comes from a tough high school program (Scotlandville Magnet High School) where they didn’t put up with anything. They coached him hard and they won games on shear will and toughness. He’s got all that and when you have that, you’ve got to add a little bit of his skill. I think he’s paying with confidence and we’ve let him go a little bit.”

LSU Guard Ja’vonte Smart

On Coach Wade’s message during practices leading up to the game…

“Toughness and rebounding. We have been focused on being tougher than other teams and outrebounding other teams.”

On sluggish start…

“I just felt we needed energy and then the team would me feed off of me and Skylar (Mays) because we bring the energy and we were the two guards in at the time.”

On shooting slump during the game…

“Our coaches tell me to keep attacking. I just take his words and keep going.”

LSU Forward Naz Reid

On preparation during the week for the game…

“Always a harder style of practice. Coach Wade has his dog in it every day in practice, which helps us transition to the game.”

On preparation for upcoming games…

“Same way, just having a tough practice and going after each other like we do every day.”

On effects of playing on the road this coming week…

“I think it is good for us because a lot of distractions are out of the way and we are focused on whatever is in front of us, especially the next two teams.”

Incarnate Word Head Coach Dr. Carson Cunningham

Opening statement…

“I thought we did some nice things early in the game, maybe the first 16 minutes or so. We struggled with our shooting and that really hurt us. In a game like this you’re going to have to hope that you shoot really well, and we didn’t do that. LSU shot pretty darn well. That’s going to make it tough with the type of length and skill that they have.”

On Christian Peevy and Augustine Ene…

“They’ve been playing really well. I think they’re getting into the paint and they’re causing some problems for people to deal with them. Off the dribble and cutting, we got some nice stuff for a long stretch in that game. But we have to figure out how to sustain it. You have to give LSU some credit. They rebounded really, really well and shot the ball well.”

On problems LSU presented and plans for improvement…

“Their length and their shooting really stood out. They executed their offensive action well, so we’ll keep plugging away.”

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