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Posted: Thursday, 20 March 2014 6:19AM

LSU upsets San Fran, advances in NIT



Jarell Martin pumped in 16 points and was one of three players to record double figures as the LSU men’s basketball team grinded out a 71-63 victory over San Francisco during Wednesday’s NIT First Round at War Memorial Gym.

With the win, fifth-seeded LSU (20-13) secured its first 20-win season since the program’s 2008-09 SEC Championship campaign. The Tigers advance to face top-seeded SMU, a 68-54 winner over UC Irvine earlier tonight. Monday’s tip time is slated for 8 p.m. from Moody Coliseum in Dallas, Texas. Ticket information is available here.

For Martin, he provided 14 of his team-leading 16 points in the opening half. He was 7-of-11 from the floor, and it marked the fifth time in his last seven games that Martin has reached double figures. The Baton Rouge native added six rebounds and a pair of blocks over his 25 minutes of action.

Shavon Coleman tacked on a balanced all-around with 13 points aided by a trio of three-pointers to go along with six rebounds, three assists and three steals. The Tigers improved to 11-3 on the season when Coleman collects double figures.

Johnny O’Bryant III came away with 13 points, six rebounds and two blocks. Even though O’Bryant was 3-of-8 shooting, he knocked down seven of his 10 free throw attempts.

Andre Stringer added nine points off the bench, while Jordan Mickey garnered eight points, eight rebounds and equaled a career-best with three assists.

San Francisco (21-12) was sparked by Cole Dickerson’s 24 points and eight rebounds. Tim Derkson registered 12 points for the Dons.

As a team, LSU totaled a 25-of-54 shooting performance highlighted by an 11-for-22 clip in the second half. The Tigers also drained six of their eight treys during the second stanza and finished 8-for-22 from three-point territory. LSU sank 13-of-19 at the foul line.

San Francisco countered with a 27-of-65 effort from the field. LSU’s perimeter defense forced the Dons to misfire on 20 of their 23 three-point attempts. USF was 6-of-10 at the charity stripe.

After giving up the game’s first basket, LSU ripped off nine straight points over a 2:27 span to grab a 9-2 advantage. Martin ignited the spurt with a pair of dunks sandwiched between a three-pointer.

San Francisco pulled back to within 13-12 at the 8:53 mark, but the Tigers responded with seven quick points over the next 67 seconds to go back ahead by a 20-12 margin. Martin provided a driving layup and a traditional three-point play. Shane Hammink also added a two-handed dunk in transition.

The Dons cut the deficit back to one possession on four separate occasions, the latest at 31-30. Hickey went coast-to-coast with an up-and-under layup high off the glass to give LSU a 33-30 edge heading into the locker room.

Ahead 41-38 with 16:15 remaining, the Tigers reeled off eight of the next 10 points over the next 2:02. Coleman canned a pair of three-balls on both ends of the run, and Mickey added a driving dunk off a superb ball fake in the lane to make it 49-40.

LSU took its largest lead at 61-45 with 8:15 left after Hickey and Tim Quarterman dropped in treys 16 seconds apart.

The Dons put together one final push with 17 of the next 24 points which included a 9-2 flurry to get as close as 68-62 at the 2:17 mark. Coleman made two free throws after a steal which sealed LSU’s first NIT win since the 2002 season. 

LSU travels to face SMU for NIT Second Round action on Monday. Tip time is scheduled for 8 p.m. from Moody Coliseum.


Photo by:Steve Franz, LSU Athletics


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