LSU uses second-half spurt to top Memphis
Skylar Mays sparked a 12-0 run early in the second half, and LSU went on to defeat Memphis 71-61 on Thursday at FedExForum in Memphis, Tenn.
Mays scored 11 of his 14 points in the second half as LSU (9-3) opened up a 59-48 lead midway through the final 20 minutes. The closest Memphis would get was 59-53 on a layup and free throw by Jeremiah Martin with just under nine minutes left.
Tremont Waters led LSU with 18 points, eight assists and four steals. Brandon Sampson chipped in with 12 points for LSU.
Kyvon Davenport paced Memphis (9-4) with 17 points and 11 rebounds, his third double-double of the season. Martin, Memphis’ leading scorer at 18.6 per game, was held to 13 points on 4-of-14 shooting from the field and 0-of-4 from beyond the 3-point arc.
With LSU trailing 43-42, Mays connected on back-to-back 3-point jumpers to give the visitors a 48-43 lead.
Consecutive layups by Sampson and Waters extended the LSU lead to 52-43.
Memphis went more than four minutes without scoring. A layup by Mike Parks Jr. ended the drought and cut Memphis’ deficit to 52-45 with 12:17 left.
The game was tied at 36-36 at halftime. Memphis was having a tough time defending the 3-point shot as LSU was 7 of 14 in the first half. For the game, LSU connected on 13 of 26 attempts from beyond the arc, while Memphis was 4 of 22.
LSU controlled the paint in the first half, outscoring Memphis 20-12.
The second half was a different story.
The LSU run coincided with the Tigers packing in their zone defense to force Memphis to try to score from outside. The strategy negated the Memphis advantage in the paint, which was only 14-12 in the second half.
Memphis was unable to hit open shots in the second half and connected on only 8 of 28 field-goal attempts (28.6 percent).