In a week filled with college football bowl games, basketball non-conference play continues. In their second to last out of conference game The Tigers achieved another large margin of victory. The team has now won seven games in a row. After some early lackluster wins, and a couple of disappointing losses, the Tigers have put together an impressive season thus far. There is some debate over wins against UMass, Gardner-Webb, and others, but nonetheless the team has improved.
Monday, the Tigers turned on the cruise control against Southern Miss. Early in the game it appeared that the team may struggle to another victory. The Tigers failed to score a FG until over four minutes into the game. The slow start did not phase the team however, scoring 49 points in the first half. The Tigers have continued to improve on offense. Coach Johnny Jones said his team just needed to "settle in." That proved true, and besides the first five minutes of the game the team was finding and making easy shots all night.
The defense once again looked strong. The team finished the night with eleven steals and seven blocks. Forward Tim Quarterman continues to look better, and he registered double doubles for the first time in his LSU career. Jarell Martin led the team with 24 points, and Jordan Mickey scored 14 points of his own. Monday night may have been one of The Tigers better games on offense this season.
It was also one of the team's most complete games of the season. After taking the lead with a little over nine minutes left in the first half, The Tigers never looked back. Any attempt at a comeback by the Eagles was squashed, and the team continued to make throws on offense. However, this is not the same Southern Miss team that we saw in 2013-2014. Monday night may be indicative of the team going forth, but that has yet to be determined. The real tests will come when we enter conference play on Jan. 8.
The Tigers next game, at home against Savannah State, will air Saturday Jan. 3 at 6pm. This is the team's last game before entering SEC play.