BATON ROUGE -- Skylar Mays scored 19 points, transfer Kavell Bigby-Williams added a career-high 14, and No. 22 LSU held off a relentless effort by first-year Coach Penny Hardaway's Memphis squad 85-76 on Tuesday night.
Each of LSU's three freshman starters -- Naz Reid, Ja'Vonte Smart and Emmitt Williams -- scored 11 points. Williams also grabbed 10 rebounds for the Tigers (3-0), who trailed briefly with about 13 minutes to go before surging ahead for good with a 12-1 run that included back-to-back three-pointers by Mays and Reid. Smart set up Reid's three-pointer with a behind-the-back bounce pass from the right wing.
Bigby-Williams, a transfer from Oregon, never scored more than 11 in a game for the Ducks, and is expected to be relied upon primarily for defense this season. He made all seven of his shots, all from close range, including an emphatic dunk that gave LSU a 10-point lead with seven minutes remaining.
Memphis freshman Tyler Harris was 6 of 13 on three-pointers and finished with 20 points in his second collegiate game.
Jeremiah Martin scored 15 points and Kyvon Davenport had 10 for Memphis (1-1), which remained within single digits for most of the game.
Mays scored from all over the court, mixing in a driving one-handed dunk with his usual array of perimeter shots. He hit three times from three-point range.
LSU had trouble distancing itself from Memphis most of the night but appeared in control for most of the final 10 minutes, when its highlights included a roundhouse dunk from Williams and Reid's double-pump, back-to-the-basket, no-look scoop off the glass that made it 74-64 with 4:35 to go.
The way Memphis played on the road against a ranked team provided an early indication that Hardaway's first season at the helm could turn out better than the fourth-place finish predicted in the American Athletic Conference preseason coaches poll. When Harris found his shot from the perimeter, it opened up opportunities inside for Davenport and Martin.
LSU's dramatic upgrade in talent was evident in the fact they led 48-39 at halftime despite Tremont Waters, their best player from last season, not scoring at all to that point. Mays also asserted himself more, scoring more points in the first half than in either of his previous two full games.
Waters finished with eight points and eight assists. LSU's top freshman reserve, Darius Days, had nine points and six rebounds.
NO. 5 TENNESSEE 66, GEORGIA TECH 53
Grant Williams scored 22 points and No. 5 Tennessee used its stingy defense to beat cold-shooting Georgia Tech in Knoxville, Tenn.
Tennessee (3-0) was playing one day after moving up a spot in the Top 25 to earn its first top-five ranking since the 2007-08 season. After the Yellow Jackets made the game’s first basket, Tennessee scored the next seven points and stayed in control the rest of the way.
Georgia Tech (1-1) shot just 27.6 per-cent from the field — its lowest mark since Josh Pastner took over as coach in 2016. The Yellow Jackets had nearly twice as many fouls (30) as baskets (16).
The Yellow Jackets missed 15 con-secutive shots during one stretch, in-cluding their first 11 attempts of the second half. They didn’t make their first second-half basket until Jose Alvarado sank a 3-pointer with 12:12 left.
Georgia Tech still managed to hang around and cut Tennessee’s lead to 45-37 on another basket by Alvarado with 10:08 remaining, but the Volunteers re-sponded with seven consecutive points.
Jordan Bone had 15 points and Kyle Alexander added 12 for Tennessee. Brandon Alston led Georgia Tech with 16.
TEMPLE 81, GEORGIA 77
Georgia trailed Temple by 12 points midway through the second half before staging a comeback that fell short in Philadelphia.
Nate Pierre-Louis scored on a layup to put the Owls (3-0) ahead 63-51 with 9:44 remaining. Georgia (1-1) responded with the next seven points, capped by Teshaun Hightower's three-pointer to pull within 63-58.
Rayshaun Hammonds connected on a three-pointer with 27 seconds remaining to cut Georgia's deficit to 79-77, but Shizz Alston Jr.'s two free throws for Temple capped the scoring.
Derek Ogbeide led Georgia with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Guard Tyree Crump came off the bench for 16 points.
Quinton Rose and Alston each scored 25 points for Temple.
SOUTH CAROLINA 81, NORFOLK STATE 64
Senior guard Hassani Gravett and freshman guard A.J. Lawson scored 18 points apiece as South Carolina whipped Norfolk State in Columbia, S.C.
Justin Minaya scored 10 points and Felipe Haase had nine for the Gamecocks (2-1), while the Spartans (2-2) got 15 points from Nic Thomas. South Carolina made 11 three-pointers just two games after going 0 of 18 from long range, with Gravett connecting on five and Lawson hitting three.
The lead swelled to as many as 28 in the second half as the Gamecocks cruised to the finish.
SUN BELT MEN
UALR 83, TENNESSEE STATE 67
Guard Rayjon Tucker scored 15 points on 7-of-8 shooting from the floor to lead four UALR starters with 10 or more points in Tuesday's victory over Tennessee State at the Gentry Center in Nashville, Tenn.
Neither team could build more than a two-point lead in the first half. Kamani Johnson's jumper as time expired in the first half gave the Trojans a 31-30 halftime lead.
The University of Arkansas at Little Rock (2-0) began to pull away at the start of the second half, using an 8-0 run in the first 2:12 to take a 39-30 lead. A three-pointer by Jaizec Lottie with 15:20 left gave the Trojans their first lead of 10 or more points at 48-37. The lead reached as high as 23 points on a dunk by Kris Bankston with 10:11 remaining to give UALR a 68-45 lead.
The Trojans shot 57 percent (33 of 58) from the floor but hit only 4 of 15 three-pointers while shooting 68 percent (13 of 19) from the free-throw line. The Tigers were held to 39 percent (24 of 61) from the floor, but 12 of the 24 made shots were three-pointers. UALR forced 17 Tennessee State turnovers, turning them into 22 points, while outrebounding the Tigers 38-30 and holding a 52-22 advantage in points in the lane.
Bankston had 14 points for UALR, while Lottie and Nikola Maric added 12 each. Donte Fitzpatrick-Dorsey led Tennessee State (0-2) with 15 points, and Michael Littlejohn chipped in with 14.
JACKSON STATE 65, CENTRAL ARKANSAS 56
Jackson State outscored the University of Central Arkansas 38-28 in the second half to claim its first victory of the season Tuesday in Jackson, Miss.
The Tigers outscored the Sugar Bears 15-12 in the third quarter and 23-16 in the fourth. Two free throws by Kamry Orr cut the lead to 44-42 with 8:38 left before a layup by Marneisha Hamer and a three-point play by Christina Ellis gave Jackson State a 49-42 lead.
An Alanie Fisher jumper and two more free throws from Orr cut the lead to 49-46, but another three-point play by Ellis and a jumper by Hamer extended the edge to 54-46 with 4:56 remaining. The lead grew to nine on three separate occasions late, with two free throws by Ellis providing the final margin.
Ellis scored a game-high 19 points to lead the Tigers, while D'Asia Mitchell had 15 and Hamer finished with 14. Fisher led the way for the Sugar Bears (2-1) with 16 points and Orr added 11.
Sports on 11/14/2018
Print Headline: LSU fights off pesky Memphis