BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) -- A 31-point win against an inferior opponent pleased LSU's coach.
John Brady said by taking care of business against Louisiana-Monroe, the Tigers' showed they are ready for tougher opponents."The problem with a veteran team is challenging them to do it every day, no matter who the opponent is," the coach said after the 88-57 win. "This team is where it needs to be right now in my mind. I don't think we are behind in any way."Seventh-ranked LSU, coming off a final four appearance, will be challenged soon enough. The Tigers' next opponent, Wichita State, is coming off a 72-66 victory over George Mason, another Final Four team from last season.Glen Davis led the Tigers (2-0) with 26 points, eight rebounds and two steals. Dameon Mason had seven assists and 10 points.LSU never trailed, and led 44-22 at the half after hitting 17-of-24 from the field. Tasmin Mitchell had 15 points before the break and finished with 21 points and seven rebounds. Davis hit 6 of 9 free throws.Jordan Payne led Monroe (2-2) with 21 points, hitting 4 of 7 3-pointers and grabbing five rebounds. Payne left the game after hitting his head going up for a rebound. Monroe coach Orlando Early said Payne may need a stitch or two but was otherwise fine.Lance Brasher scored 14 points, with four 3-pointers, and Afam Nweke had seven rebounds for the Warhawks.LSU held Monroe to 33 percent shooting from the field.Magnum Rolle blocked a shot, then dunked with 6:18 left in the first half to put the Tigers up 34-18."I don't know if we could have played better in the first half," Brady said.The Tigers went up 55-27 in the second half after two quick dunks by Darnell Lazare and a three-point play from Davis. They led by more than 20 points the rest of the game, going up 88-52 after a Mason layup with 1:11 remaining.Lazare was 8-of-10 from the field for 16 points and Mason hit 5 of 7 shots for 10 points, with seven assists. Temple Garrett had six points and three steals, and Rolle blocked two shots.LSU next plays Wichita State at home on Nov. 25.