Martin scores 24, LSU beats Southern Miss

Published 11:20 am Tuesday, December 30, 2014

BATON ROUGE, La. – No one would have expected an outstanding offensive night from LSU considering what transpired in the opening minutes of Monday’s nonconference game against Southern Mississippi.

The Tigers failed to make a field goal until almost five minutes had elapsed. But, LSU ended up scoring a season-high total of first-half points en route to an 87-67 victory over the Golden Eagles.

Jarell Martin scored 24 points, while both Jordan Mickey and Tim Quarterman registered double-doubles as the Tigers (10-2) extended their winning streak to seven games.

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Martin, who was one rebound short of a double-double, was 10 of 15 from the field. Mickey finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds. He also blocked six shots. Quarterman ended with 12 points and a career-high 14 rebounds. He also handed out six assists.

Keith Hornsby and Jalyn Patterson also scored 10 points each for the Tigers, who shot 49 percent from the field (35 of 71).

“We started off with jumpers,” LSU coach Johnny Jones said. “Once we settled in and understood making the extra pass and getting the ball from one side of the floor to the other, we were more crisp. We made the right plays and had less turnovers. We were moving the ball and getting easy baskets.”

Chip Armelin led the Golden Eagles (5-6) with a career-high 28 points. Matt Bingaya added 13 points, while Davon Hayes had 11.

“We played fine for the most part on offense,” USM coach Doc Sadler said. “On defense, we could have done things differently. Everything we got tonight was not at the basket and that makes it hard. At the same time, we get 67 points against a team that may be the second best in the SEC.”

LSU missed its first nine field goal attempts. Hornsby made the Tigers’ first basket almost five minutes into the game although LSU only trailed USM 8-6 at that point.

After falling behind 15-8, the Tigers finally got even after Martin’s basket capped a run of seven straight points. Quarterman’s layup 9:21 before halftime gave LSU the lead for good at 21-19.

From there, the Tigers outscored the Golden Eagles 20-3. Mickey scored seven points, while Patterson came off the bench to contribute five points during this stretch. Patterson’s 3-pointer put LSU in front 41-22 with 3:28 left in the opening half.

“We just try to stay confident,” Quarterman said. “There was plenty of basketball left to play (after the slow start). Our team did a good job of moving the ball around and creating open shots. Coming back from Christmas break and being focused was big for us.”

The Tigers held a 49-33 halftime lead and made sure there would be no USM rally. A 9-0 run put LSU in front 61-39 slightly more than four minutes into the second half. Martin had two baskets, including a 3-pointer, in the stretch. The Golden Eagles came no closer than 16 points the rest of the way.

By BRYAN LAZARE, Associated Press