[title_box title=”LSU gives Tennessee no love in Valentine’s day beatdown, 73-55″]
There was no love to be found on the court in Thompson-Boling on Valentines day, as LSU thrashed the Vols 73-55.
The last time LSU took the court, they lost by just 2 points to No.1 Kentucky, so they were hungry to get back to their winning ways. Tennessee came into this game coming off an impressive overtime win against Vanderbilt on Wednesday and was looking to shock the SEC again by taking down a solid LSU team.
LSU started off strong, initiating a 7-0 run, five of those points being scored by Keith Hornsby. Tennessee obviously wanted to protect the paint and shut down Jordan Mickey as they were fronting the post and double-teaming anyone catching an entry pass. The Vols even forced LSU into a shot clock violation on one possession. But LSU was not rattled and started to find and convert on open 3-pointers in the holes of Tennessee’s zone. Everything for LSU seemed to be falling, and it wasn’t long before the Tigers had built a solid double-digit lead and even ended up doubling the Vols’ points. Meanwhile, Tennessee continued to struggle to find their rhythm on the offensive end and headed into the break down 47-20.
Jordan Mickey was the high-scorer for LSU at the break. He scored 15 first-half points on 6-9 shooting. He was completely dominant down low and also grabbed five rebounds. Keith Hornsby also had a good half, shooting 4-7 from the field including 3-5 from beyond the arc for 11 first-half points. LSU shot 64 percent from the field including a ridiculous 70 percent from three-point range. The Tigers also played great defense and recorded five first-half blocks.
Derek Reese was the lead scorer for the Vols at halftime. He had seven points on 3-7 shooting. Josh Richardson struggled from the field, going 1-6 for just four points. The Vols shot a horrid 30 percent from the field in the first half and couldn’t seem to get any good looks on offense.
When all had seemed lost, Tennessee came out of the break on a 13-1 run. Coach Tyndall seemed to light a fire under his team in the locker room, and it got the crowd into the game for the first time all night. LSU didn’t score a bucket for the first five minutes of the second half, but once they settled down, they recaptured momentum and rode it all the way to the final buzzer.
“The way we started the second half was encouraging,” said Coach Tyndall. “But the hole we dug was too big.”
Armani Moore scored 16 points on 6-10 shooting. He also recorded eight rebounds and a block. Josh Richardson scored 15 points on 5-13 shooting, struggling to find good looks against the Tiger’s tough defense.
Jordan Mickey was the star of the game; he scored 20 points on 8-13 shooting and also grabbed 11 rebounds. He was dominant down low on defense as well, blocking seven shots.
“We really haven’t gotten dominated by a post player before, but Mickey really did dominate us tonight,” Tyndall said.
Keith Hornsby scored 16 points on 5-13 shooting including 4-9 from beyond the arc. Tim Quarterman scored 13 points on 4-6 shooting and also grabbed six rebounds and dished out six assists.
LSU shot 53 percent from the field and 47 percent from 3-point range. The Vols came into this game looking to shut down their post players, but LSU hurt Tennessee not only in the paint but from everywhere on the court.
“You have to pick your poison against LSU,” said Coach Tyndall.
The Vols will look to rebound on Tuesday when the No. 1 Kentucky Wildcats come to town, and the players will be doing all they can to prepare for the battle.
“This game is far behind us,” said forward Armani Moore. “We just need to get ready for Tuesday.”
Edited by Maggie Jones