LSU comes back against UAB 79-70
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) After watching his team trail UAB for nearly the entire first half, LSU coach Johnny Jones decided to let his team run wild in the second. The Tigers responded with a flurry of fast-break baskets, and a 79-70 comeback victory over the Blazers.
Behind the shooting of Jarrell Martin and Keith Hornsby, who combined to score 49 points, LSU opened the second half with a 27-12 run. The Tigers (8-2) took the lead four minutes into the half and never trailed again on the way to their fifth consecutive victory.
''They did a great job coming out with energy in the first half,'' Jones said of the Blazers, who jumped out to a 17-6 lead. ''In the second half, we had to make sure we didn't just match their intensity level, we had to exceed it, and our guys were able to do that.
''We were able to get some stops, and on the offensive end we were able to get out and run and get in the open floor. We were just quicker than they were and had some easy scoring opportunities.''
Martin scored 25 points on 10-of-15 shooting and Hornsby added 24 points, with much of the damage coming early in the second half.
''The second half did us in,'' UAB coach Jerod Haase said. ''The bottom line is we were completely and totally ineffective on the defensive end. We had no answers for them.''
The Blazers (4-7) also didn't have much of an answer for LSU 6-foot-8 forward Jordan Mickey, who had 13 points, eight rebounds and blocked seven shots. His presence down low was one of the reasons UAB went 12-for-32 (37.5 percent) from the field in the second half.
''He blocked seven, but he altered several other shots as well. He forced guys to take quick shots,'' Jones said. ''They shot in the 30s in the second half, and that was indicative of what he did defensively.''
Trailing 39-33 at halftime, LSU opened the second half by scoring six straight points to tie the game. Moments later, a 3-pointer by Jalyn Patterson gave the Tigers their first lead since the opening minute at 44-42.
LSU quickly pulled away from there, going on an 11-2 run in less than three minutes to build a 60-51 lead.
Robert Brown led the Blazers with 20 points and five assists.
LSU: Mickey failed to reach double figures in rebounds for only the fourth time in nine games. He is averaging 9.9 rebounds per game. The Tigers made 56.7 percent of their shots in the second half (17-of-30).
UAB: Freshman William Lee, the Alabama high school player of the year in 2013-14, had 13 points and five rebounds in his second start of the season. After pulling to within 65-62 in the second half, the Blazers made only one shot over the next 5 1/2 minutes.
LSU starting point guard Josh Gray did not play because of a lower right leg injury suffered Saturday against Sam Houston State. Tim Quarterman started in his place and went 0-for-5 from the field in the first half, but finished with six points and eight assists with only two turnovers.
There were signs and periodic chants from the crowd throughout the game calling for the firing of UAB president Ray Watts, who announced earlier this month that the university is shutting down its football program. Watts was not in attendance.
LSU vs. Charleston on Monday.
UAB at Chattanooga on Monday.