LSU rolls past Nicholls State in lopsided season openerNov 18, 2006 - 3:05 AM BATON ROUGE, Louisiana (Ticker) -- If only Garrett Temple and Louisiana State had shot this well in their last game.
Temple scored all of his career-high 16 points in the first half as the seventh-ranked Tigers rolled to a 96-42 victory over Nicholls State in their first game since an ugly loss to UCLA in last season's Final Four.
Despite losing senior guard Darrel Mitchell to graduation and high-flying forward Tyrus Thomas to the NBA, LSU (1-0) had no trouble with the Colonels (0-5), who were overmatched right from the start.
"I thought the first half, we played pretty well," LSU coach John Brady said.
The Tigers shot 56 percent both in the first half (14-of-25) and for the game (31-of-55). It was a far cry from their 59-45 defeat to the Bruins in the national semifinals on April 1, when they shot a woeful 32 percent, did not make a 3-pointer, connected on only 13-of-28 foul shots and committed 15 turnovers.
Temple, who missed all six of his shots and committed three turnovers in the loss to UCLA, was much better in the first game of his junior season. He made 6-of-10 shots, including four of the Tigers' 11 3-pointers.
"Garrett made some nice shots," Brady said. "And like I said before, Garrett and Tasmin Mitchell, (who scored 14 points), have to be able to make some shots from the perimeter for us to be the kind of team we want to be. I was happy that they were able to do that tonight."
Glen Davis scored 16 points and Darnell Lazare added 16 and 10 rebounds for the Tigers, who improved to 13-0 all-time against the Colonels and won their 61st straight game against teams from Louisiana.
LSU also held a 49-27 rebounding advantage and dished out 25 assists, compared to only six for the visitors.
"They're bigger, quicker, stronger than what we're used to," Nicholls State coach J.P. Piper said. "The margin of time to get your shot off is so much smaller than what we're used to."
LSU made eight 3-pointers in the first half en route to a 44-18 advantage. Things escalated quickly thereafter as the Tigers scored 24 of the first 28 points in the second half and led by as many as 55 points.
"We tried to execute down the stretch even though we were ahead, and I think we did that for the most part," Brady said.
Adonis Gray scored 10 points to lead Nicholls State, which shot just 21 percent (13-of-62) and made only 4-of-28 shots from the arc.
"We can't shoot 13 percent from behind the 3-point line and 20 percent from the field and expect to have a chance to win the game," Piper said.
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