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LSU 81, La Lafayette 62

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) -- No team in the nation has rebounded the
basketball better than LSU so far this season.

Led by Glen Davis, who scored 20 points and grabbed 12 rebounds,
the Tigers used their inside dominance to defeat
Louisiana-Lafayette 81-62 Saturday.

LSU (6-1), which entered the contest with a rebound margin of 22
per game, pounded the Ragin' Cajuns on the boards 57-28. The Tigers
outscored Louisiana-Lafayette 29-4 in second-chance points.

"(Rebounding) is what we do," Davis said. "That's what coach
concentrates on. One of the strengths of our game is rebounding the
ball. We did a wonderfLouisiana job rebounding tonight."

Davis was one of five LSU players that had at least seven
rebounds. Tasmin Mitchell had 11 rebounds, including six off the
offensive glass. Tyrus Thomas had nine rebounds, five of which came
on the offensive end.

Even guards Darrel Mitchell and Garrett Temple were chasing down
missed shots. Darrel Mitchell had a career-high eight rebounds, and
Garrett Temple had a season-high seven rebounds.

"I said at media days that I'd be surprised if we were not a
good rebounding team and we are," LSU head coach John Brady said.
"A young team can be inconsistent on offense, so it needs to
rebound the ball. We just go and rebound. It's a testament to our
toughness."

Louisiana-Lafayette (2-6), which trailed by four points at
halftime, fell behind by 14 points in the first five minutes of the
second half. Darnell Lazare scored eight points during that stretch
as the Tigers went out to a 56-42 lead.

Dwayne Mitchell, who scored a career-high 27 points for the
Ragin' Cajuns, had 11 points that helped reduce LSU's lead to six
points at 68-62 with slightly more than six minutes remaining in
the game.

However, the Tigers shut out Louisiana-Lafayette during the rest
of the game. The Ragin' Cajuns missed their final five shots and
turned the ball over four times while LSU closed the game with a
13-0 run.

Nine of the Tigers' final 13 points followed offensive rebounds.
Tasmin Mitchell had three baskets during that time after coming
down with offensive rebounds.

"Everything wasn't going well for me," said Tasmin Mitchell,
who committed seven turnovers. "I helped the team with my
rebounding. I crashed the offensive boards. I didn't feel up to par
because of the turnovers. Rebounding the ball is one of the things
I can do."

Louisiana-Lafayette was at a disadvantage since its two starting
inside players were not on the court for much of the second half.
Chris Cameron dislocated his shoulder with 5:21 remaining in the
first half and did not return. Michael Southall was limited to ten
minutes because of foul trouble and an injured knee.

"The bottom line in this ball game was offensive rebounds,"
Louisiana-Lafayette coach Robert Lee said. "They really dominated
us on the glass in the second half.

"Of course, losing Cameron was a tremendous blow to our team.
Southall wasn't 100 percent, so he really couldn't play. Those are
our two inside players, so it became very difficult for us on the
boards."

Darrel Mitchell had 17 points and eight assists for LSU. Tasmin
Mitchell finished with 16 points, and Lazare had 12 points. Dwayne
Mitchell was the only player for the Ragin' Cajuns to score more
than eight points.

"We were in the game right where we wanted to be," said Dwayne
Mitchell, who also had a game-high 16 rebounds. "We had a couple
of guys who were injured so I tried to take the load on and put
everybody on my back. I coLouisianadn't carry it tonight."

Darrel Mitchell and Davis carried the offensive load in the
first half for LSU. Darrel Mitchell scored all 14 of his first-half
points in the opening ten minutes. Darrel Mitchell's second
3-pointer of the game put the Tigers ahead 6-5.

LSU never trailed in the first half after taking that one-point
advantage. The Tigers' largest lead was eight points that took
place on two occasions, the last at 28-20 on Darrel Mitchell's
final basket of the half.

Davis scored five of his 11 first-half points in the last seven
minutes to help keep LSU in front of the Ragin' Cajuns. Dwayne
Mitchell had 11 points and 10 rebounds that enabled
Louisiana-Lafayette to reduce its halftime deficit to four points
at 41-37.