The men's basketball team improved to 3-0 Wednesday night behind star freshmen Ben Simmons and Antonio Blakeney. Simmons had 23 points and 16 rebounds, and Blakeney posted 22 points en route to a 78-66 victory over South Alabama in the regional round of the Legends Classic. It was Simmons' second double-double of the season and Blakeney's third straight time scoring double figures. Simmons made 64% of his shots and Blakeney made 64% from the field, and 50% of his three-point attempts. The rest of the team made only 13 field goals, including a career-high 10 points for Elbert Robinson, before he left the game with an ankle injury.
South Alabama managed to stick around for most of the game. The Tigers had a 12 point lead at the half, but some key three pointers kept the Jaguars alive in the second half. South Alabama spread the ball around a bit. Their leading scorer, Nick Stover, finished with 13 points. In the second half The Tigers did a good job of responding to each score by the Jaguars and not getting distracted. South Alabama did not pull within single digits in the second half, but it was not quite the blowout some were expecting.
The Tigers were able to secure their revenge for a 79-75 overtime loss to South Alabama four years ago, their last trip to Baton Rouge. LSU also started the season 3-0 for the first time since the start of the 2012-13 season, Johnny Jones' first season as head coach. The Tigers face Marquette next in the Legends Classic on Monday night at 6 PM CST. The game will air on ESPN 2.