The LSU men’s basketball team faced real adversity Saturday night and trailed by a season-high 15-points against Georgia Tech in Atlanta’s State Farm Arena.
Maybe one of Will Wade’s previous LSU teams would have wilted under the circumstances: a road game after 10 days off and facing the greatest deficit yet this season. Maybe in prior years, LSU would close the gap on the strength of its offense but the early failings by the Tiger defense made the hole to great to climb out of.
Not this team.
This LSU men’s basketball team (9-0) instead did what they’ve done all season long: put the clamps down defensively and use a legit 9-man rotation to make Georgia Tech tap out. LSU only allowed Georgia Tech to shoot 6-20 from the floor in the second half and 1-10 from three.
Tari Eason was once again a force coming off the bench, scoring a career high 23 points and grabbing six rebounds in just 27 minutes. Eason was active on both ends of the court and that effort was rewarded with some emphatic dunks.
When LSU needed stops they got them in droves. The Tigers forced a staggering 24 turnovers and used them to create 19 points; and they held Michael Devoe, the ACC’s leading scorer, to 12 points—11 off his season average.
While Saturday was an impressive win for LSU, they had plenty of flaws. LSU turned it over 21 times and had a rough night shooting (39 percent from the floor, 3-19 from three). Darius Days had the worst game of his senior campaign with five points on 2-11 shooting. But Days, like many of his LSU teammates, found other ways to be impactful and grabbed 10 rebounds.
LSU did the things that will travel: they rebounded (41 boards to Georgia Tech’s 29), played suffocating defense, and made 18 of 24 free throws. Tari Eason may not always go for 23 points, Brandon Murray and Xavier Pinson may not always combine for 23 points, but effort always shows up.
LSU is now off to its best start since the 1999-2000 season, and they are one of seven undefeated teams remaining, Next up, LSU returns home for a Tuesday night match against Northwestern State. Tip off is scheduled for 6:00 and will be broadcasted on SEC Network.