LSU 75, Houston Baptist 58
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP)
LSU played without guard Anthony Hickey and forward Johnny O'Bryant. Hickey was ''disciplined'' as announced Thursday by coach Johnny Jones. O'Bryant was held out as a precautionary measure after injuring a leg in the Marquette game.
''I'm really pleased with our guys' effort and the focus that they had the two days that we were back (from Christmas break) here at practice and tonight,'' Jones said. ''Then, when you have the distractions with the (O'Bryant) injury and Hickey not playing tonight, I thought those guys did a great job of focusing. ... Then, we really started off the second half and did an excellent job of rebounding, defending and executing our offense and pushing our lead out there.''
Tyler Russell led Houston Baptist (4-8) with 15 points, and Caleb Crayton had 11.
Houston Baptist hung in, trailing only 12-9 on Spenser Gales' free throw with 11:05 left in the first half, but LSU ran off 13 in a row with Morgan, Corbin Collins and Stringer making 3-pointers for a 25-9 advantage at 8:14.
The Huskies closed to 35-26 at the half, but with Coleman scoring five points, LSU led 45-29 just over 3 minutes into the second.
LSU and Houston Baptist have played once before in Baton Rouge in 1983, when LSU edged the Huskies 60-59. LSU leads the series 3-0.
Jones said he hadn't decided whether Hickey would be allowed to play Jan. 5, when LSU closes its nonconference schedule against Bethune-Cookman.
Hickey averages 10.3 points, 4.1 assists, 3.5 steals and 3.8 rebounds.
He and freshman guard Shane Hammink were suspended for LSU's exhibition game against Arkansas-Monticello, and Hickey sat out of the starting lineup Nov. 24 against Mississippi Valley State on another disciplinary issue.
Hickey also served an indefinite suspension for what Jones termed a violation of athletic department and university policies earlier this month. He missed the Chattanooga game Dec. 11 and sat out the first half of a subsequent game at Boise State.