BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Josh Gray scored a season-high 25 points as LSU defeated Massachusetts 82-60 in a non-conference game Tuesday night.
Gray, who had not scored more than 14 points in a game since the season-opener, was 11-of-15 from the field. Gray, who had five assists, made three 3-pointers – one fewer than he had made in the previous six games.
Three other Tigers players scored in double figures. Jordan Mickey registered his fourth double-double of the season with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Tim Quarterman came off the bench to score 15 points, while Jarell Martin had 12 for LSU (5-2).
UMass (5-3) trailed by at least 10 points for the last 13 minutes of the game. Cady Lalanne led the Minutemen with 16 points and 12 rebounds. Maxie Esho added 14 points, while Trey Davis picked up 11 points and Derrick Gordon had 10.
Massachusetts battled back from an early eight-point deficit to tie the score at 24-24 on a basket by Gordon with 8:22 remaining before halftime. LSU proceeded to take control of the game with a 17-2 run. Four Tigers players scored points in that stretch.
Martin accounted for six points on two field goals and two foul shots. Quarterman made two field goals, including a 3-pointer. Mickey sank a pair of baskets. The other points came on a layup by Gray which gave LSU a 41-26 lead with 2:44 left in the opening half.
The Tigers still had a double-digit advantage four minutes into the second half. A three-point play by Mickey put LSU on top 51-40. LSU expanded its margin to 15 points at 57-42 following consecutive field goals by Quarterman, Martin and John Odo.
The Tigers had another flurry of points slightly past the midway point of the second half. A three-point play by Keith Hornsby and a baseline jumper by Mickey gave LSU a 65-48 advantage with 8:51 to play. The Minutemen came no closer than 10 points the rest of the way.
LSU: The Tigers shot 54 percent from the field (35-of-65). Since Johnny Jones became coach two seasons ago, LSU has a 14-1 record when it makes at least half of its field goal attempts.
Massachusetts: The 60 points were the fewest of the season for the Minutemen. In UMass’ first seven games, it had scored less than 70 points once in an 81-68 loss to Notre Dame.
LSU will play at West Virginia in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge on Thursday.
Massachusetts will play Florida Gulf Coast in the Hall of Fame Holiday Showcase in Springfield on Sunday.