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Tigers Dominate ULM 101-39

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About as picture perfect a start to a season you could hope for

NCAA Basketball: Louisiana-Monroe at Louisiana State Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

The 2021-22 LSU men’s basketball season started off with a bang as the Tigers absolutely crushed ULM 101-39 Tuesday night inside a raucous Pete Maravich Assembly Center.

Darius Days was the star of the show as the senior scored a career-high 30 points and nailed an absurd eight threes, seven of which came in the half. The eight threes were two off from tying the single game record of 10 set by Mahmaoud Abdul-Rauf.

Four other Tigers scored double digit points, with star freshman Efton Reid scoring 16 points, Cincinnati transfer Tari Eason scoring 11, Missouri transfer Xavier Pinson scoring 11, and sophomore Eric Gaines scoring 10. Even walk on Parker Edwards scored three points.

“We shared the ball tremendously tonight,” Will Wade said. “We played inside-out. We attacked the paint. When you play smart basketball and take good shots, you score a lot of points.”

But we’re used to seeing LSU light up the scoreboard offensively, what was a welcome change was how fiercely the Tigers played defense.

The 39 points are the fewest allowed in the Will Wade era. LSU held ULM to 27 percent shooting from the floor and 18 percent from three. But even those numbers don’t quite do the Tiger defense justice. LSU ended the first half on a 30-3 run in which they forced eight turnovers over the final nine minutes.

The game got even more lopsided in the second half with LSU holding ULM to 14 percent shooting from both the floor and three. ULM had three times as many turnovers (12) as they did made baskets (4). MWani Wilkinson was especially pesky defensively as the sophomore wing had six steals and a pair of blocks. Wilkinson has said he wants to win SEC Defensive Player of the Year and that’s a great way to kick off the campaign.

LSU even had five players ejected tonight! Now granted it was because they left the bench to help teammate Bradley Ezewiro up after a nasty fall but still! The Dunk Squad is BACK in Baton Rouge!

It’s only one game of course against not the greatest of competition, but there’s virtually no complaints to be had about tonight’s effort. The 62-point margin of victory is the fourth greatest in program history and if LSU can play defense at anything close to this level all season long it won’t just only be the SEC on notice, but the entire country.

UPDATE

Shoutout to Mensa for reminding me to insert this awesome windmill dunk by Eric Gaines