NCAAB Game Recap - Louisiana State at Tennessee
Sat Jan 4, 2020 12:00 PM EST

Pepp
70
Gonz
75
F
Duke
95
Mia-FL
62
F
WVU
53
Kansas
60
F
Oreg
69
Utah
64
F
Tex
44
Baylor
59
F
FlaSt
78
Lou
65
F
Aub
80
MisSt
68
F
UGA
65
Mem
62
F
Vill
60
Marq
71
F
Crei
57
Butl
71
F
SDSU
77
UtSt
68
F
Ind
59
MD
75
F
Mizzu
59
KY
71
F
VaTec
39
UVA
65
F
Iowa
86
PSU
89
F
OkSt
50
TxTch
85
F
Miss
54
WichSt
74
F
AzSt
47
Ariz
75
F
LSU
78
Tenn
64
F
Wake
69
Pitt
65
F
Akr
69
E MI
45
F
NCSU
70
Clem
81
F
Wyo
61
ColSt
72
F
KansSt
61
Okla
66
F
FaDi
77
Bry
73
F
Samf
78
VMI
75
F
UMassL
86
UMBC
73
F(OT)
WCU
86
Citad
82
F
Seatt
86
ChiSt
54
F
UConn
60
SoFL
75
F
Morg
81
DelSt
68
F
Prov
66
DeP
65
F
LIU
73
MtStM
82
F(2OT)
N TX
67
Marsh
64
F
UCIrv
73
Harv
77
F
UNH
52
Hartfo
61
F
GASt
72
CoCar
74
F
MiaO
82
CenMI
93
F
Winth
87
Campbl
72
F
NIU
73
Buff
72
F
TxSt
70
ArkSt
67
F
SthAL
49
ULMo
69
F
AbCh
74
Lamar
62
F
TexAr
89
ArkLR
92
F
USC-Up
73
Longw
56
F
Presb
68
GWebb
62
F
YSU
74
Clev
82
F
TNTec
72
MorSt
83
F
StFPA
93
CenCT
69
F
ETSU
56
Furm
65
F
Cin
71
Tul
76
F
ND
88
Syr
87
F
GaSo
72
App
74
F
MTSt
53
S UT
59
F
McNee
69
CenAR
79
F
IlSt
55
SIU
67
F
RobM
69
(N/A)
58
F
Albany
74
Bingha
62
F
Lib
65
NJIT
38
F
W&M
66
NE
64
F
MidTN
62
Charl
68
F
Elon
75
Hof
102
F
UTEP
56
FlAtl
59
F
JacSt
80
E KY
71
F
JMU
69
Charl
85
F
How
66
MD-ES
78
F
FlaAM
45
NCC
61
F
NFla
81
N AL
65
F
SeLA
84
TXAMC
80
F
Stetsn
57
KennSt
54
F
HiPt
62
Radf
73
F
Chat
70
Mercer
61
F
Ohio
65
W MI
77
F
SCSt
79
Copp
75
F
TN-M
63
APSU
82
F
USD
63
SCla
80
F
Rice
61
W Ky
68
F
SoMis
50
LaTec
78
F
PorSt
69
E WA
71
F
W IL
56
SDSt
91
F
E IL
55
Belm
87
F
ArkPB
80
MsVl
76
F
(N/A)
75
CSNor
109
F
IaSt
79
TCU
81
F(OT)
GaTec
96
UNC
83
F
Bois
66
Nev
83
F
Web
64
NoAZ
72
F
IndSt
76
Drake
80
F
Alab
98
Fla
104
F(2OT)
SIU-E
74
TNSt
79
F
AlSt
67
JackSt
70
F
ChaSo
85
Hamp
92
F
Alc
70
PVAM
84
F
BethC
72
Norf
85
F
Nich
70
SamH
58
F
AlaAM
60
Gram
70
F
Lipsco
61
FlGlf
68
F
UNCG
92
Woff
98
F(2OT)
UCLA
71
WaSt
79
F(OT)
SJSU
64
Fres
79
F
Valpa
81
Evans
79
F(OT)
TexAM
59
Ark
69
F
SacHr
81
Merrim
74
F
Princ
78
Penn
64
F
UAB
52
OlDom
58
F
Tows
67
UNCW
60
F
TexSA
83
FlInt
90
F(OT)
SFA
87
NOrl
68
F
CSLA
60
LongB
76
F
SDCh
51
UCRiv
89
F
Oral
67
NebOm
74
F
Troy
62
ULLa
79
F
Brad
64
NrthIA
69
F
UtVal
63
UMKC
68
F
MOSt
58
LoyIL
62
F
SEMO
59
Murr
81
F
Mont
66
N CO
74
F
LoyMa
38
BYU
63
F
SMU
92
Vand
81
F(OT)
South
68
TXSo
77
F
GrCan
62
CSBak
69
F
NMSt
86
CBU
71
F
USF
65
Portl
76
F
StMar
99
Pacif
107
F(4OT)
AF
59
UNLV
71
F
IdaSt
49
Sac
68
F

Jan 4, 2020, 12:00 PM EST

Final

1

2

T

Louisiana State (9-4)

38

40

78

Tennessee (8-5)

37

27

64

LSU opens SEC title defense by winning 78-64 at Tennessee
Sat Jan 4, 2020 4:13 PM

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) LSU opened its Southeastern Conference title defense by displaying the same road toughness that enabled the Tigers to win the league’s regular-season championship last year.

Javonte Smart scored 21 points Saturday as LSU overcame an early nine-point deficit and withstood Tennessee’s 3-point barrage to earn a 78-64 road victory over the Volunteers. LSU (9-4) went unbeaten in SEC road games last year.

“When you win a couple, you get that confidence,” said LSU’s Skylar Mays, who scored 17 points. “We feel like we’re really good on the road. That’s kind of how it goes. When you play with confidence, things tend to go right for you.’’

Tennessee (8-5) lost for the fourth time in its last five games despite getting a spark from point guard Santiago Vescovi in his Vols debut.

Just one week after arriving on campus, Vescovi moved into the starting lineup and scored 18 points while shooting 6 of 9 from 3-point range. The 6-foot-2 freshman showed he could help fill the void that was created when Lamonte’ Turner underwent season-ending shoulder surgery.

Vescovi’s shooting excited a Thompson-Boling Arena crowd announced at 18,653. Vescovi, who is from Uruguay but most recently played for the NBA Global Academy in Australia, said he never had played in front of more than 7,000 fans.

“I still have a not very good feeling about the game because it was a tough loss,” Vescovi said. “I don’t really care about how I played. I just care about whether we won or we lost. All this is about, it’s about the team.”

Yves Pons also scored 18 and Josiah-Jordan James had 15 for Tennessee, which shot 13 of 26 from 3-point range. Trendon Watford had 15 points and eight rebounds for LSU, which went 10 of 21 on 3-point attempts.

Tennessee’s decision to start Vescovi appeared to throw LSU off stride at the beginning of the game when Vescovi made consecutive 3-pointers during an early 11-0 run that helped Tennessee lead for most of the first half.

“Our whole game plan changed because he became the point guard in the game,” Smart said. “We’d never seen him play before. We got like three plays of him on film, so we just tried to fit it into the game, tried to slow him down, just tried to put some length on him and make it hard for him.”

That plan eventually paid off.

LSU scored the final seven points of the first half to grab a 38-37 lead at the intermission. Pons scored the first basket after halftime as Tennessee briefly regained the lead, but LSU quickly regained control and stayed in command by shooting 57.7% in the second half.

LSU outscored Tennessee 19-9 in points off turnovers and did much of that damage against Vescovi. Although Vescovi had six rebounds and four assists to go along with his 18 points, he also had nine of Tennessee’s 14 turnovers.

“He��s going to make some mistakes that we’re going to have to live with because he’s trying to start a season in the middle of the season - his first game being a conference game,” Tennessee coach Rick Barnes said. “But here’s no doubt, I think everybody saw he’s got a chance to be a terrific player.’’

BIG PICTURE

LSU: The Tigers lost their top two scorers from last year's SEC championship team when Tremont Waters and Naz Reid turned pro, but they're starting to return to form after an up-and-down start. After losing consecutive games to East Tennessee State and Southern California, LSU has bounced back by defeating previously unbeaten Liberty and earning this victory at Tennessee. LSU had lost its only previous true road game this season 84-82 at VCU but showed plenty of poise even after Tennessee built its early lead.

Tennessee: The Vols’ improved 3-point shooting was a welcome development. Tennessee entered the day having shot 24.9% from 3-point range (44 of 177) over its last nine games. But the Vols still need better shooting from senior guard Jordan Bowden, who shot 1 of 12 Saturday and scored just three points. Bowden entered the day with a team-high 12.9 points per game, but he has shot 3 of 25 over his last two games.

HOME MAGIC MISSING

After winning 31 consecutive games at Thompson-Boling Arena, Tennessee has lost three of its last four in this building. Tennessee had the nation’s longest active Division I home winning streak before losing 51-47 to No. 9 Memphis on Dec. 14. The Vols fell 68-48 at home to Wisconsin two weeks later.

SMART’S FAVORITE FOE

Smart’s 21 points Saturday matched a career high. The sophomore guard scored a career-high 29 points in an 82-80 victory over Tennessee last season.

UP NEXT

LSU hosts Arkansas on Wednesday.

Tennessee visits Missouri on Tuesday.

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More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25

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Follow Steve Megargee at https://twitter.com/stevemegargee

Leaders

Louisiana State PTS +/- AST REB ST BLK
A. Hyatt 0 0 0 0 0 0
J. Smart 21 0 4 2 1 0
Tennessee PTS +/- AST REB ST BLK
J. Johnson 0 0 2 4 0 0
D. Gaines 0 0 0 0 0 0

Team Comparison

LSU Tenn
Points For 78 64
Field Goals 28/60-47% 24/60-40%
Three Pointers 10/21-48% 13/26-50%
Free Throws 12/14-86% 3/5-60%
Offensive Rebounds 11 13
Defensive Rebounds 22 21
Rebounds 35 43
Blocks 4 4
Steals 8 4
Turnovers 8 14
Personal Fouls 13 15
Technical Fouls 0 0
Ejections 0 0

2019-2020 Regular Season - LSU Leads Series 1-0

Date Result Away Pts Ldr Home Pts Ldr
Sat Jan 4 LSU 78 @ Tenn 64 M. Taylor 2 J. Bowden 3

Game Information

Stadium: Thompson-Boling Arena, Knoxville, Tennessee
Attendance: 18,653
Game Time: