LSU Downs Nicholls State, 96-74
|men's BASkEtBALL RESULTS
|LSU 96, Nicholls State 74
|Mississippi State 80, South Alabama 65
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Seven players scored in double figures as LSU defeated Nicholls State 96-74 in the season opener for both teams Saturday.
Freshmen Anthony Hickey and John Isaac led the Tigers with 14 and 13 points, respectively. Johnny O'Bryant, another freshman, finished with 12 points and a game-high eight rebounds.
Ralston Turner and Andre Stringer, LSU's top two scorers a year ago as freshmen, each scored 12 points. Justin Hamilton, who sat out last year after transferring from Iowa State, had 11 points and Storm Warren picked up 10 points.
Freshman Trevon Lewis was the leading scorer for the Colonels with 19 points. Chris Talkington added 13 points and freshman Lachlan Prest had 12 points for Nicholls State.
It took LSU more than eight minutes to take control of the game. Trailing 16-12, the Tigers scored 10 consecutive points to build their first comfortable lead of the day. After a basket by Isaac, Hickey and Stringer knocked down 3-pointers. A field goal by Hamilton completed the run.
Minutes later, LSU went on another run and outscored Nicholls State 13-1 to go ahead by 14 points. Turner made a 3-pointer and hit three free throws after being fouled on another 3-point attempt. Hamilton connected on a pair of foul shots and a field goal, while Hickey hit a 3-pointer.
On two occasions in the last four minutes of the half, the Tigers took a 15-point advantage -- the last at 48-33 on three free throws by Stringer, who was fouled on a 3-point attempt. LSU made seven 3-pointers in the first half, while the Colonels made eight 3-pointers before halftime.
The Tigers extended their 11-point halftime lead by scoring the first eight points of the second half to lead 59-40. O'Bryant scored four points during the run and the Tigers' advantage was never fewer than 10 points the rest of the game.
Mississippi State Defeats South Alabama
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Small, quick, and dominating. That was the style of play Mississippi State showcased on Saturday afternoon in an 80-65 win against South Alabama.
And doing a bulk of the damage was junior forward Arnett Moultrie, who posted his second double-double of the year with 28 points and 13 rebounds.
"We shared the basketball. We moved the basketball," MSU coach Rick Stansbury said. "We were quicker. When you're small, you're typically quicker."
With junior forward Renardo Sidney out with a groin injury, the Bulldogs were forced to go to a smaller lineup and play a lot of four-guard sets.
"We wanted to come out aggressive against them today," said Moultrie. "We got off to a slow start against Akron, and we did not want to do that again."
The Jaguars kept the game close for the opening seven minutes, but a Jalen Steele jumper with 13:35 remaining sparked a 33-18 run to end the half. State went into the locker room with momentum and a 44-29 lead.
The second-half told the same tale, as the Dogs continued to dominate. As for the last 11:37 of the first-half, the Dog's defense continued to hold a double-digit lead for the remainder of the game, only allowing the Jaguars to get as close as 11.
Starring along-side Moultrie was the senior-freshman combo of Dee Bost and Rodney Hood. Bost turned in 16 points on 6-13 shooting, while Hood put up a season-high 15 points on 6-11 shooting, including 2-of-4 from three-point range.
"I got in a groove today," Hood said. "I didn't play uptight like I've been playing."
South Alabama out-performed Mississippi State shooting during the game, putting up 45.6 percent as to 40.6 percent from the Dogs. However, Moultrie's impressive effort proved to be the determining factor.
"(Moultrie) is a great player who plays every game the same way," said Stansbury. "He doesn't get too high; he doesn't get too low. Today he made baskets and still rebounded the basketball."
For the contest, the Bulldogs hit 8 of 27 from three (29.6 percent) and 16 of 21 from the charity stripe (76.2 percent). The Jaguars hit 4 of 10 from three (40.0 percent) and 9 of 11 (81.8 percent).
South Alabama received a team-leading 16 points from Augustine Rubit, along with nine rebounds. Also putting in solid performances for the Jaguars were Mychal Ammons with 15 points and nine rebounds and Freddie Goldstein with 11 points.