LSU avoided a letdown after its impressive comeback win against Wake Forest, taking care of a good mid-major squad in North Carolina Central with a 67-57 win at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center on Tuesday night.
As has been the case for much of the season, though, things didn’t exactly go off without a hitch.
Much of the first half was back-and-forth as the Eagles got off to a great start shooting. They hit 10 of their first 20 shots as the two teams traded the lead 10 times in the opening period. For the first 15+ minutes of the game, neither team led by more than three points.
However, things would cool off for NCCU, who ended the half hitting just 2 of its 10 shots in the final 6:46, including its final five. In the same span, LSU was 5 of 8 as it was able to stretch a 14-point lead into the locker room, largely thanks to Derek Fountain and KJ Williams, who had 15 and 14 points, respectively, in the first 20 minutes.
The Eagles didn’t stay down, though. They’re one of the best teams in the country from three-point range, and they used the long-range shooting to get back in the game over the opening minutes of the half, cutting the Tigers’ lead to four. For the game, NC Central was 46.7% from downtown.
But in spite of a poor second-half offensive performance from LSU, which shot just 35.5%, it was able to pull away in the final minutes. Williams (18 points, 12 rebounds) and Fountain (17 points, 14 rebounds) put on a show in this game, and Cam Hayes also scored 14 points.
Hayes would be helped to the locker room after suffering a lower-body injury in the final minutes, and his status moving forward is unclear.
It was close once again, but the Tigers took care of business. They’ll return to the court on Saturday night for a game against Winthrop at the PMAC.
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Story originally appeared on LSU Tigers Wire