This is a game that the Massachusetts Minutemen will like to forget.
After a tough loss to Harvard on Saturday UMass was looking to regain some momentum at LSU. Well the Tigers had a different plan for the game.
UMass played evenly with LSU for the first 14 minutes of the game. At the 7:40 mark it was tied at 24 and looked like we were in for a close one. Then Tim Quarterman hit a three and started a 20-8 Tiger run that would give LSU a 44-32 halftime lead.
UMass was never able to make a dent as LSU was never up by less than nine points.
A big factor why the Minutemen never got back into the game was the shooting. They shot 37.7 percent from the floor and that included an abysmal 2-13 from three. They also struggled from the charity stripe again making just 12 of their 19 attempts. This poor shooting performance can be contributed to the Tiger's stifalying defense. They forced UMass to commit 18 turnovers, but most importantly they blocked 10 shots and disrupted countless others.
LSU on the other hand had no trouble scoring as they shot 53.8 from the field and hit 38.5 from deep. They also out-rebounded UMass 41-32.
While he wasn't the leading scorer, Jordan Mickey was the most important player on the floor for LSU. He had a double-double with 16 points and 10 boards. He also had a game high five blocks and was a serious problem for the UMass offense. He was aided by Josh Gray who did not seem to miss. He recorded 25 points on 11-15 shooting, including 3-4 from three. He also led the team with five assists and added three steals.
UMass was led by Cady Lalanne who had another double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds. Those rebounds were a game high. However he did shoot 6-15 from the floor and was not very efficient. His frontcourt mate Maxie Esho added 14 points and seven boards. He struggled with fouls again which seems to be a reoccurring theme in this early season.
Derrick Gordon had another solid all-around game with 10 points, three rebounds,and four steals. He shot very well at 56 percent but did not get to the free throw line.
The bench was really the most disappointing thing about this game other than the score. They made just two field goals for the entire game. Donte Clark did add 5-6 from the free throw line but he was 0-4 from the field. Jabarie Hinds struggled even more scoring just two points and was careless with the ball resulting in four turnovers.
Trey Davis had 11 points on 5-15 shooting and added just one assist. Not exactly what you want from your point guard. He also turned the ball over three times and never really was able to get the offense going in the second half.
Another disturbing trend for UMass is the lack of assists as a team. They had just six compared to LSU's 15. UMass needs to start playing more team basketball offensively if they want to score easier. Most easy baskets are also assisted.
LSU is now 5-2 while UMass drops to 5-3. They will have sometime to lament about the losing streak as they don't play until Sunday, when Florida Gulf Coast Eagles come to Amherst to play at 2PM.