Tari Eason scored 23 points, and No. 25 LSU recovered from a 15-point first-half deficit to beat Georgia Tech 69-53 on Saturday night and remain undefeated
ATLANTA — Tari Eason scored 23 points, and No. 25 LSU recovered from a 15-point first-half deficit to beat Georgia Tech 69-53 on Saturday night and remain undefeated.
Xavier Pinson had 13 points and Brandon Murray added 10 points for LSU. The cold-shooting Tigers trailed 24-9 before surging late in the first half and then pulling even at 40-40 early in the second half. Eric Gaines made two free throws to give LSU (9-0) the lead, and he followed with a steal and basket.
Georgia Tech (5-4) never regained momentum as it suffered its third consecutive loss. Jordan Usher led Georgia Tech with 15 points. Yellow Jackets guard Michael Devoe, who entered the game leading the nation with his average of 23.6 points per game, had 12 points.
The Yellow Jackets committed a season-high 24 turnovers, leading to 30 points for the Tigers.
Devoe and his teammates were contained by LSU’s stingy, nation-leading field-goal defense (33.1%).
The Tigers were playing their first game since a 66-51 win over Ohio on Dec. 1. The 10 days away from competition showed, as LSU struggled with its shooting most of the first half.
LSU made only 3 of its first 19 shots from the field. Darius Days, who leads the Tigers with his average of 16 points per game, missed his first six shots before finally sinking a 3-pointer with 5:19 remaining in the first half.
The Yellow Jackets went up 24-9 before turnovers and fouls began to cut into their momentum. LSU scored the final eight points of the half, cutting the Yellow Jackets’ lead to 34-30.
Georgia Tech: The Yellow Jackets passed their previous season high of 16 turnovers only five minutes into the second half. Their inability to stop the miscues was too much to overcome.
LSU: Despite the strong finish to the first half, the Tigers made only 30% of their shots in the opening 20 minutes. Too often, LSU’s shooters settled for 3s while failing to develop shots closer to the basket.
Georgia Tech: Plays Southern California in Phoenix on Dec. 18.
LSU: Hosts Northwestern State on Tuesday night.