LSU turns back College of Charleston 75-65 (Dec 19, 2016)

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) Duop Reath matched his season-high with 23 points and LSU scored the last 10 points to defeat College of Charleston 75-65 on Monday night for its fourth-straight win.

The Cougars, who trailed by 13 points five minutes into the second half, tied the score at 65-65 on a basket by Joe Chealey with 1:48 remaining. Charleston missed its last four shots while the Tigers scored on their final five possessions.

Brandon Sampson made a pair of field goals and Craig Victor hit four consecutive foul shots in the final 90 seconds for LSU (8-2). The Tigers’ other points came on a field goal by Jalyn Patterson.

”We took our time running the offense and let things come to us,” Sampson said. ”We stuck to our assignments and got the ball inside. Everything just came to us instead of us rushing everything.”

Sampson finished with 20 points, while Victor had a season-high 18 points and 10 rebounds. The Tigers shot 50 percent from the field for the fifth time this season.

”I just like the way our guys don’t get distracted,” LSU coach Johnny Jones said. ”Charleston made a great run at the end in tying the game up. We had to fight back and make some plays. Our guys were poised under pressure and made some big plays down the stretch.”

Chealey had 23 points for the Cougars (8-4), whose five-game winning streak ended. Jarrell Brantley added 11 points.

”We had a couple of breakdowns on defense at the end where we tried to be aggressive,” Charleston coach Earl Grant said. ”We missed a couple of 3s. We clawed back and never gave up. That game could have gone in any direction. We just broke down at the end and ran out of gas.”

BIG PICTURE

Charleston: Once again, the Cougars were unable to deliver a victory against a big-name school. Charleston had lost games earlier this season to Wake Forest (78-61) and top-ranked Villanova (63-47).

LSU: For the third straight game, the Tigers had to hold off a mid-major team down the stretch for a victory. LSU had beaten North Carolina Central 70-66 and Texas Southern 88-80 in its two previous contests.

DOMINANT POST PLAY

Reath and Victor, LSU’s starting post players, combined for 41 points and 18 rebounds. Reath, who blocked three shots, was 10 of 16 from the field and grabbed eight rebounds. Victor was 5 of 6 from the field and 8 of 10 at the foul line. The Tigers are 4-0 since Victor entered the starting lineup. He has averaged 13 points and 10 rebounds in those four games. Two of Reath’s three 20-point scoring games have come since Victor became a starter.

DEFENSIVE PROBLEMS

Charleston had relied upon its defense in winning eight of its first 11 games. However, the Cougars struggled stopping LSU. The Tigers made 50 percent of their field goal attempts (29 of 58). Only Central Florida and Wake Forest had shot higher than 50 percent against Charleston this season. LSU was only the second team to score more than 70 points against the Cougars. Wake Forest scored 78 points.

DIFFERENT ROLE

Antonio Blakeney, who averaged 22 points in LSU’s three previous games, took only eight shots against Charleston. Blakeney made three and scored just seven points. However, Blakeney tied his career-high in rebounds with 10 and handed out three assists.

UP NEXT

Charleston continues its five-game road trip Thursday at Western Carolina.

LSU will play its first true road game of the season Thursday when the Tigers take on Wake Forest.