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High Energy and Strong Early Run Pace LSU Basketball to 83-53 Dominant Win Over Belmont

Tigers start season 5-0 for second time under Will Wade, proving to be an elite defensive team by the game

By the game, LSU is looking more and more like an elite defensive team and the Tigers continued to make an early season statement by thoroughly dismantling another very good non-conference opponent. 

The purple and gold knocked off visiting Belmont 83-53 through intense defense and mesmerizing transition offense. It's the second time of the Will Wade era LSU has started 5-0, with that 2018-19 team eventually going to the Sweet Sixteen.

"This was a huge test tonight, they're a really good offensive team, I thought our discipline, our urgency was really good," Will Wade said. "We swarmed that ball, it's great how we feed off the crowd."

All season, LSU has had game defining runs in every single game with the main ingredients being lockdown, active defense and smooth flowing offense. It's been a different player leading the charge seemingly every night and on Monday it was senior guard Xavier Pinson. 

After falling behind 7-0 in the early minutes, a 25-4 LSU run helped the Tigers settle in and it was 10 points from Pinson that really swung the momentum in LSU's favor. 

The defensive effort was highlighted towards the end of the first half when LSU committed a live ball turnover that had dunk written all over it. Instead, Tari Eason, Brandon Murray and Mwani Wilkinson all hustled down court, picking up two chase down blocks that easily could wind up being one of the defining plays of the season. 

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Eason and Pinson led the charge in the first half as the Tigers jumped out to a 36-23 lead, with the two veterans combining for 17 points and setting the tone defensively along with Wilkinson. When this team dedicates itself to the defensive side of the ball like it has in five games, it's impossible to not pay off on the offensive side of the floor. 

Coming into the contest No. 4 in the country in turnovers forces, LSU created 16 Belmont turnovers that led to 21 points on offense. Belmont wouldn't do itself many favors by shooting 32% for the game and 26% from deep. It's also the first time LSU has held its first five opponents under 60 points since the 1946-47 season.

"We were just everywhere, we were aggressive, we attacked the ball and just did all the little things," Eason said. "We executed our game plan really well."

"This is a new LSU," Pinson added. "We feed off defense. When we play well on defense we play good on offense. We let that defense bleed into our offense."

What was most impressive was LSU made its large run in large part without Darius Days, who had his first real night of struggles shooting the ball. LSU would extend its lead to as many as 20 points in the opening minutes of the second half headlined by a two Brandon Murray triples. 

The Tigers would see seven of its players score at least six points throughout the night, headlined by Eason's 17 , Pinson's 14 and Murray's 13. 

Belmont was a team that has won at least 26 games in each of the last three seasons and at times LSU made it look like a high school team. Off to a 5-0 start for the second time under Wade, this team has shown that LSU has what it takes to make another deep run.