Rebounds & Putbacks: LSU 82 UMass 60

Josh Gray (5) scored a game-high 25.(Photo by Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports)
Josh Gray (5) scored a game-high 25.(Photo by Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports)

By Paul Gotham

Early feedback from LSU’s 82-60 victory over UMass.

In the Gray area

Josh Gray dropped a season-high 25 on 11-15 shooting from the floor including 3-4 behind the arc to lead the Tigers. The junior guard also handed out five assists – producing 36 of LSU’s 82 points. Gray grabbed four rebounds and picked up three steals.

Give and Geaux

LSU converted 18 UMass turnovers into a 20-16 advantage on points off turnovers. That number also contributed to the 52-36 LSU advantage on points in the paint. The Minutemen came into play averaging 14 miscues a game (national average is 13.25). This is not uncommon for the Minutemen whose up-tempo play can lead to sins of aggression. Last season, UMass turned the ball over 13.4 times a contest. BUT, last year the Minutemen averaged 15.1 assists a game. Against the Tigers, the Minutemen had six assists on 23 field goals. LSU, on the other hand, dished out 15 assists on 35 makes. UMass averages 11.5 assists a game this year. (Maybe the title of this section should have been Missing Chaz.)

Building the resume

With the win, LSU avenged a defeat at the hands of the Minutemen last season. UMass falls to 5-3. Derek Kellogg’s club started last season 10-0 and eventually improved to 16-1. The Minutemen rode the out-of-conference success to an at-large bid – the first NCAA tournament appearance under Kellogg. LSU improves to 5-2. Another notable win on the Tiger schedule is a victory over Texas Tech.

Video courtesy of LSU athletics.

Doubling up

Cady Lalanne notched his sixth double-double of the season. The UMass big man netted 16 and grabbed 12 rebounds in 30 minutes of playing time. The 6-10 center is tied with two others (Jameel Warney/ Stony Brook and Charles Jackson/ Tennessee Tech) for tops in double-doubles  in the country.

LSU’s Jordan Mickey registered his own double work with 16 points and 10 rebounds. The LSU forward added five of the Tigers’ 10 blocks.

Shooting woes

UMass shot 23-61 (37.7 percent) from the floor including (shield your eyes) 2-13 (15.4 percent) behind the arc. Making matters worse – beside a five-minute stretch midway through the first half where UMass connected on seven straight (two behind the arc), the Minutemen shot 16-54 …and 0-11 long range.

Looking for charity

UMass entered play leading the nation averaging more than 33 free throws per game. Their free throw production (an indication of a team’s ability to get to the FT line) is 38.9 (national average is 25.8). Tuesday night UMass took just 19 (12-19) free throws. LSU didn’t take advantage. The Tigers only took 11 shots (7-11) from the charity stripe.

Play of the game

After trailing by as many as 17 in the second half, UMass trimmed the deficit to 10. Gray scored LSU’s next six pushing the lead back to 15.

Going forward

LSU travels to Morgantown to take on #16 West Virginia on Thursday. UMass hosts FGCU this Sunday. Coming later this month, UMass has a 10-day stretch (around Christmas no less) where they travel to Providence and BYU before hosting Iona.


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