LSU has relied primarily on its defense to get off to a fast start this season.
But it was the offense that led the way in its last game.
The Tigers (10-1), who held off visiting Winthrop 89-81 last Saturday, will meet East Tennessee State (4-8) on Wednesday night in Baton Rouge, La.
“On the offensive end, it was clearly our most efficient performance there on the season,” LSU coach Matt McMahon said. “The second half, I felt like we played the game the right way offensively. The ball moved side to side, had a lot of great screens.
“If you enjoy offense, 3-point shooting, a lot of points … that was your game to watch.”
The Tigers, who have won five straight games for the second time this season, had 13 assists on 21 made baskets while outscoring Winthrop 51-42 in the second half. They shot 67.7 percent from the floor after halftime and 54.7 for the game.
LSU is tied for 167th in the country in scoring (73.1 points per game) and 61st in scoring defense (63.5). The 89 points against Winthrop were the team’s second-most this season. The Tigers have been carried offensively by Murray State transfer KJ Williams, who leads the team with 18.5 points and 7.9 rebounds per game.
East Tennessee State has lost its last four games by a combined 10 points.
The Buccaneers’ last loss was especially disappointing. They rallied from an 11-point deficit with nine minutes left to hold a 73-71 lead in the final seconds.
But they saw UNC Asheville make an extended, contested 3-pointer from beyond the top of the key as the final buzzer sounded.
“For most of the season, we have been the team blowing an 11-point lead,” ETSU coach Desmond Oliver said. “And so even though I’m brokenhearted for our fans and I know our fan base wants us to be really good right now and our record looks like crap, I’m pretty confident this thing will get rocking and rolling.”
The Bucs, who have tied their longest nonconference losing streak since the 2015-16 season, are led by a scoring trio all averaging more than 13 points per game — guards Jordan King (13.4) and DeAnthony Tipler (13.1) along with forward Jalen Haynes (13.3).
–Field Level Media