LSU takes down Missouri State, 73-58

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Darius Days

BATON ROUGE – The LSU Tigers posted another 50 percent shooting game from the field and Darius Days had his third double double of the young season in a 73-58 win over Missouri State University Friday night at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.

LSU (5-2) now hosts New Orleans on Tuesday night at 8 p.m. at the Maravich Center. Tickets are available online at LSUTix.net.

Days made 7-of-13 field goal attempts, including two treys and all four free throws to get his career high 20 points and grabbed his tenth rebound in the final minute for his 10th board of the game. He played just over 30 minutes in the contest.

Days has been in double figures in every game this season.

Emmitt Williams had 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting, while Trendon Watford and Skylar Mays had 12 points each. Javonte Smart had nine of LSU’s 14 assists in the contest.

Keandre Cook led Missouri State with 17 points, while Tulio Da Silva added 16 and Josh Hall had 11 points and 11 rebounds for the Bears.

LSU for the second straight game shot over 50 percent, making 29-of-54 field goals for 53.7 percent. The Tigers added five treys and 10-of-14 from the field. LSU was 24-of-34 inside the arc.

The Bears shot 40.4 percent (23-of-57) with six treys and just 6-of-13 from the free throw line.

LSU had a season low seven turnovers, while forcing the Bears to 14 miscues. LSU had a 14-4 advantage in points off turnovers.

The Tigers were outrebounded, 35-30, and 15-6 on the offensive board. That helped the Bears have an 18-8 advantage in second chance points.

MSU had the advantage for the first two minutes but an 11-0 run put the Tigers in front for good, taking the game from 5-2 for the Bears to 13-5 on a Mays layup with 14:10 to go in the first half. MSU got the game back to one point twice in the first half but LSU had a 33-27 advantage at the halftime break.

The Tigers had the lead to double digits for the first time at 42-31 on a Days layup early in the second half, but MSU whittled the game back to two, at 47-45, with 12:57 to go. But LSU never let the Bears get the game even, scoring the next eight points to make it 55-45 with 11:04 to go.

LSU’s biggest lead was the final margin on Days layup off a Williams pass with 1:31 to go in the contest.

The Tigers are 4-0 at home this season.

LSU Head Coach Will Wade

Opening Statement…
“Good win. That was the largest margin those guys have been beaten by all year. We have a lot of things we need to clean up. Our defensive rebounding was poor. Very, very poor. But 15 offensive. I thought our turnover number were great. I thought Javonte (Smart) had a great game – nine assists and one turnover – I thought that was tremendous. Tremendous floor game for Javonte. (Darius) Days obviously, 20 (points) and 10 (rebounds). He’s become so consistent for us. Emmitt (Williams), very, very consistent as well. Overall, I’m very, very pleased with the win. Now we’ve got to rest and get ready for New Orleans on Tuesday. Good win over a very good team. They’re going to win a lot of games.”

On the two steals in the second half by Skylar Mays and Charles Manning Jr…
“Those were huge. It allowed us to get the pace going. They (Missouri State) want to play in mud. They want you to play in quicksand with them where it’s just slow, slow, slow, slow, slow. We were able to get the pace going with those steals and our 22-press. It was able to give us a little breathing room that we could use the rest of the game. I thought those were huge, huge plays for us.”

On Darius Days getting his third double-double of the season…
“He’s tremendous. He’s one of our most consistent workers. Him and Emmitt (Williams) are probably our two most consistent along with Skylar (Mays). You want to see good things happen to guys who do all the right stuff. The ball finds him, he makes shots, finishes around the rim and everything you could ask.”

LSU Forward Darius Days
On his third career double-double…
“I was just in the right place at the right time and my team was finding me. Javonte (Smart) saw me in the corner, Skylar (Mays) saw me in the corner, Emmitt (Williams) got me a couple passes under the bucket. I was just in the right place.”

On the improvement of the team…
“I think we’re jelling better. Everyone is starting to play their role. Everyone’s doing their role to the best of their abilities and were playing a lot better as a team.”

LSU Forward Emmitt Williams
On Darius Days improvement this year…
“Oh Mr. 20/10? That’s my boy right there. Darius has been phenomenal this year. We’ve been coming in and watching film, getting up a lot of shots together. We’re more focused this year. That’s a guy that can come in and I can get some work in with, he’s someone I can always depend on. On the defensive end he’s someone that just gets to the ball, as you can see my boy had ten rebounds.”

On losing the rebounding battle…
“One thing about me and Darius is that when it comes to rebounding, that’s on us, that’s our job. When we feel like we’re losing the rebounding battle, we put a lot of pressure on ourselves, like this is our job.”

Missouri State Head Coach Dana Ford

Opening Statement …

“The same thing that we have dealt with all of this year has been the turnovers. It was a two-point game with nine minutes to go and we turned the ball over three or four straight times. I think they scored each of those times and you just can’t do that. Typically, when you turn the ball over you are either making poor decisions or you’re not strong with it and we got a little bit of both, but I really think it was more of not being strong with it. That’s disappointing because you can’t not care about the ball and expect to beat a good team. We struggled with taking care of the ball and it seems like we are okay with giving the game away to the other team.”

On outrebounding LSU …

“There were a lot of positives for us tonight, but the outcome and the turnovers were negative. We rebounded well even without Gaige (Prim). We had 15 offensive rebounds and to be honest I thought we should have had more. We missed some shots around the rim and when you play a team that’s so good offensively you can’t miss layups and expect to beat them. We did that but we will continue to outrebound teams, especially offensively. When it comes to us, can we do it defensively? They didn’t miss a lot tonight, but I thought defensive rebounding was just okay. Josh Hall was a positive tonight; he came in and started to seem more comfortable in his role. Darian Scott gave us some good time tonight, Ford Cooper is getting better, Isiaih Mosley got some playing time in the second half and wasn’t afraid. Ja’Monta Black had a plus 10 which is really good. There were some positives but if we can’t make our free throws, can’t make layups, and turn the ball over, then we aren’t going to beat anybody.”

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