BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — All five starters scored in double figures as LSU defeated Northwestern State 109-59 in a non-conference game Sunday.
Point guard Javonte Smart was the leading scorer for the Tigers (7-2), who won their fourth game in a row, with 17 points. Emmitt Williams finished with 16 points and a game-high ten rebounds. Darius Days had 16 points. Both Skylar Mays and Trendon Watford scored 14 points.
James Bishop scored 11 points and Aundre Hyatt 10 off the bench. The Tigers scored their most points since defeating North Florida 119-108 four seasons ago.
“The scoring balance gives everybody confidence,” Smart said. “I have a lot of good players around me. I try to get them the ball as many times as I can. It’s been an all-around team effort lately.”
Chudier Bile was the leading scorer for the Demons (2-6) with 20 points — one shy of his season-high. No other Northwestern State player scored more than nine points. The Demons failed to score 60 points for the third time this season.
Northwestern State held its own with LSU for the first 11 minutes of the game. A field goal by Nikos Chougkaz tied the score at 19-19 with 9:32 before halftime. The Tigers outscored the Demons 33-13 over the rest of the first half.
“LSU went to their full-court press and we turned the ball over,” Northwestern State coach Mike McConathy said. “They scored 10 points on us. They had another run and the next thing I know the deficit goes from 10 to 20. We did some good things in the first half and then the wheels came off.”
LSU had two long scoring runs in that stretch. First, the Tigers scored ten consecutive points to break the 19-19 tie. Days accounted for seven of those ten points. Later in the half, LSU scored 14 points in a row to go on top 52-26. Smart and Days made 3-pointers during a 90-second span.
The Tigers never led by fewer than 20 points after halftime. LSU’s 50-point victory was its largest margin since it defeated North Florida 104-52 two years ago.
“We did some good things,” LSU coach Will Wade said. “I was pleased Emmitt was 6-of-6 from the field. I was really happy with Watford’s free throws (4 of 4). Javonte played great. He has been coming in and working on his shot. It’s certainly paid off. You are looking for stuff that can translate to other games.”
Northwestern State: The Demons dropped their sixth straight game to a Division I opponent. Northwestern State’s only two victories this season came against Centenary and Louisiana College.
LSU: LSU extended its non-conference home winning streak to 15 games. The Tigers’ last loss at home to a non-conference opponent was two seasons ago when Stephen F. Austin beat them 83-82.
STAR OF THE GAME
Javonte Smart put together his best game since the season-opener against Bowling Green when he scored 21 points, grabbed eight rebounds and handed out five assists. Smart made a season-high seven field goals against Northwestern State as he had 17 points and eight rebounds. He was 7-of-13 from the field, including 3-of-4 on 3-pointers. The three 3-pointers matched his season-best against Bowling Green. Smart finished with three assists and three steals with no turnovers. In the last three games, Smart has recorded 20 assists and just three turnovers. In the previous six games, Smart had 25 assists and 26 turnovers.
STAT OF THE DAY
During LSU’s four-game winning streak, its offensive efficiency has been very good. In all four games, the Tigers have made more than 50% of their field goal attempts. LSU’s 56% shooting against Northwestern State was a season-high. Emmitt Williams made all six of his field-goal attempts and Skylar Mays was 6 of 9 from the field. Trendon Watford made five of his eight shots from the field. The Tigers have not shot below 47% percent from the field in any of their first nine games.
Northwestern State will also take a ten-break for semester exams before opening Southland Conference play at Sam Houston State on Dec. 18.
Following a break for semester exams, LSU hosts East Tennessee State on Dec. 18.
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