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Tigers fall at College of Charleston, 70-58

Well, this is bad.

Looks like #SECbasketballFever struck the Tigers early this year. Losing to Marquette or NC State is one thing, but losing to the College of Charleston? A team that's not even in Ken Pomeroy's top 170?

That would be bad.

Sure, this team is still short-handed without Keith Hornsby and Craig Victor, but LSU wasted a 15-18 day from Ben Simmons and received a grand total of ONE point from Antonio Blakeney, who was 0-9 from the field.

I'll let our hoops team provide more perspective but here's the remaining info from the official release:

CHARLESTON, SC - The LSU men's basketball team couldn't match the early intensity and shooting of the home-standing College of Charleston Cougars Monday night at TD Arena and used a 22-point halftime advantage to score a 70-58 victory over the Tigers.

The game marked LSU's third straight loss (3-3) and the third straight game in which LSU struggled from the field.

LSU made just 6-of-its first 25 shots over 20 minutes, including just 2-of-10 from the arc and 3-of-10 from the free throw line (including two potential one-and-one situations). Meanwhile the Cougars (4-2), made 16-of-33 attempts and 5-of-10 from the arc in building a 39-17 advantage after 20 minutes.

The Cougars hit their first shot from three but Ben Simmons came down and took his first three-pointer of the season and hit it as part of a 5-0 run that gave LSU its only lead at 5-3 89 seconds into the game. The Tigers hung close for the next five minutes, trailing 11-10 when Brian Bridgewatermade the two of LSU's three free throws in the first half with 13:40 to go in the opening stanza.

From there Charleston, playing before a season high near-sellout crowd of 4,761 went on a 13-0 run as Cameron Johnson and Canyon Barry hit three-pointers; Nick Harris (dunk), Marquise Pointer and Barry (both with layups) and a free throw by Harris did the damage.

LSU got it back to 10 on four straight by Tim Quarterman before another run for Charleston of 13 points up the margin out to 23 before it finished at 22 for the half.

Up against a true wall and needing at least a 50-point half to get back in the contest, Charleston became the cold shooting team hitting only 9-of-31 shots in the second half. But while LSU improved, they were only able to make 13-of-36 (36.1%) and 3-of-13 from the arc in the final 20 minutes.

LSU had the game down to 50-40 with 9:23 to play, but then a 7-0 run and a near two-minute scoreless stretch by the teams put LSU down 57-40 as the clock ticked to six minutes. LSU continued to show the energy it needed in the second half and got the game down to first eight, 60-52, with 2:25 to play and then seven, 63-56, on a Jalyn Patterson three with 1:09 to go.

After an LSU timeout, Barry had the ball stolen away from him by LSU's Simmons and Quarterman had a three-ball in the air to cut it to four points, but the shot went awry and Charleston made 7-of-8 free throws down the stretch to seal it.

Simmons had his fourth straight double double but made only 4-of-15 shots in a 15-point, 18-rebound night with four assists. Quarterman was the only other player in double figures with 14 points. Aaron Epps started at forward instead of center Elbert Robinson III (dressed but did not play) and played 21 minutes with 9 points on 4-of-5 shooting. Brian Bridgewater had a career night on the boards with nine in 18 minutes to go with 7 points and three blocks. Patterson had 6 points, 5 assists and three steals.

Barry had 19 points while Johnson added 13 and Pointer 12 for Charleston which had a 32-22 advantage in point in the paint, a 14-12 advantage in points off turnovers (9-1 in the first 20 minutes), while second chance points were event. LSU was out rebounds, 47-46.

The Tigers will host North Florida on Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the Maravich Center in a game streamed on SECN+ and broadcast on the LSU Sports Radio Network.