ORLANDO, FLA. - LSU (4-1) defeated Saint Joseph’s, 82-65, in the first round of the 2013 Old Spice Classic, held at the HP Field House in ESPN Disney's Wide World of Sports. The Hawks (2-2) will now play Siena (2-5) on Friday, November 29 at 8 p.m., in a game to be televised on ESPNU.
Ronald Roberts, Jr., led the Hawks with 21 points and in the first half, became the 51st Hawk to surpass 1,000 points in his career when he scored on a tip-in at 6:23. He now has 1,008 career points to rank 49th on SJU’s all-time list. The senior connected on 9-of-13 from the field while grabbing a team-high seven rebounds.
The Hawks suffered from poor shooting night, from both the three-point arc (18.8 percent) and the foul line (46.2%), as they made just 12-of-26 free throws. Saint Joseph’s defense didn’t have any answer for the Tigers’ long-range shooting as LSU converted 8-of-13 three-point field goals in the opening period.
LSU opened up a close game in the first half by going on a 15-4 run, with back to back three-pointers from Shavon Coleman, to take a 31-21 lead at 8:39. LSU, which shot 58.1 percent from the field, would stretch that margin to 44-26 late in the first half and take a 46-30 halftime lead.
After LSU went up, 51-30, in the opening minute of the second half, the Hawks would make a run. The action was fast and furious from the 15-minute mark to 10:39, as SJU closed to 54-44. During that spurt, Roberts threw down a one-handed dunk on the break as Wilson passed it behind his back after taking pass from Galloway. LSU’s Anthony Hickey stopped Saint Joseph’s momentum quickly by hitting a three-pointer at 10:39 to extend LSU’s lead to 57-44.
From there, Saint Joseph’s fell behind by as many as 21 points, 74-53, with just over four minutes to play.
"Give credit to LSU. They had a complete game and when we prepared for this, we thought that we would have to pitch a complete game. It means get every loose ball, make your free throws, and not miss a defensive assignment and we didn’t do any of those things," said SJU head coach Phil Martelli. 'It’s not on one guy or a system. They had a complete game. Their bench was important in the first half and we didn’t have a complete game. You play the numbers on a 28-percent shooting team and they go 8-for-13 in the first half. I really don’t think it was about playing harder – you have to play better. And fortunately it’s not the end of a season and we just have to play better tomorrow night."
Halil Kanacevic added 12 points and four steals for the Hawks, who were seeing their first action since a loss to Creighton on November 16.
Andre Stringer led LSU with 18 points and eight assists, with Jordan Mickey posting 14 points and 10 rebounds. Jarell Martin had 15 points and Johnny O’Bryant scored 11.
Siena was defeated by Memphis, 87-60, in a first-round game. Oklahoma State, which beat Purdue, and Butler, which defeated Washington State, also advance to the winner’s bracket with Memphis.