LSU beats Samford 105-86, moves to 2-0
BATON ROUGE – On a night when the Tigers offense was running full blast and passed the century mark for the first time since Dec. 19, 2015, the Tigers defense was on the mind of the LSU coaching staff after a 105-86 win over Samford Thursday night at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.
While LSU (2-0) was scoring 58 points in the second half and shooting 20-of-30 from the field, the Bulldogs (1-2) of Samford was 20-of-35 in the second half and 11-of-18 from the arc in the final 20 minutes and scored 58 points of their own.
Some of those came late off turnovers as LSU only had nine, but gave up 13 points off turnovers after LSU had built up a 17-0 advantage with 13 minutes to play in the game.
It was the first half that decided the game as LSU sprinted away to a 47-28 halftime advantage. LSU had just three turnovers in the first so minutes and 15 assists on 19 made field goals.
LSU would finish with 29 assists, tying for the sixth most in a single game in school history on 39 made baskets (74.4%). The Tigers were helped in the second half by going 19-of-20 at the free throw line, including 16-of-16 in the second half.
So the big numbers came offensively for the Tigers with five players in double figures.
Junior Brandon Sampson and sophomore Skylar Mays led the Tigers in scoring with 20 points each. Mays tied his career-high with six field goals made, and Sampson also tied his career best with eight field goals made.
Sampson had a career night all around as he had a career-best seven assists. His previous high was six against Georgia on Feb. 25, 2017, and he also tied his career-best with eight boards.
Mays dropped four three-pointers marking a career-best, as well. Prior to tonight's game, he had made three three-point field goals in a game twice.
Wayde Sims added 13 points on 5-of-9 shooting, while Duop Reath had 12 points. Brandon Rachal off the bench had 10 points. Tremont Waters came off the bench to score just five points in 27 minutes but he had eight assists and just one turnover. Daryl Edwards got the start for Waters in the game and had eight points and six assists with no turnover in 26 minutes.
Samford was led by D. Denzel-Dyson with 21 points with four treys and Justin Coleman had 19 points on five treys. Alex Thompson had 10 points. Samford shot 49.2 percent from the floor and made 15-of-29 treys. LSU was 39-of-65 for the game (60.0%) overall and 8-of-23 (34.8%) from the arc.
The Tigers now will fly on Friday to Maui where they will begin play in the Maui Jim Maui Invitational on Monday night in the final of four quarterfinals from the Lahaina Civic Center. LSU will play Michigan at 6:30 p.m. island time (10:30 p.m. Baton Rouge time) in a game broadcast on the LSU Sports Radio Network and televised on ESPNU.