BATON ROUGE, La. (AP)—It was a bit of a struggle for No. 12 LSU to subdue Louisiana Tech.
But the Tigers got a big game at the free throw line from forward Glen Davis, and Terry Martin’s long-range shooting provided the spark they needed for a 68-52 victory on Saturday.
It was a win that helped bury a weak showing against No. 17 Washington three days earlier.
Davis, who struggled in the Tigers’ 88-72 road loss on Wednesday, bounced back from a season-low eight points with 23, including a career-high 15 free throws. He grabbed a season-high 14 rebounds.
“Being a competitor, my mind-set was that I wanted to come back strong today,” Davis said. “I don’t think about the Washington game. Sometimes things don’t go your way.”
Martin, playing in just his second game since becoming eligible, added 19 points. He was 7-of-9 from the field, including 5-of-6 from 3-point range.
“It was a workmanlike victory,” LSU coach John Brady said. “I was not tremendously excited or disappointed. We were able to manufacture 18 free throws for Glen. It was a good win.”
LSU (7-3) extended its homecourt winning streak against Louisiana schools to 64 games. Louisiana Tech (2-9) is the last team to win at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center, that coming 18 seasons ago.
Trey McDowell equaled his season-high with 19 points for the Bulldogs, while Chad McKenzie added 12 points and Terry Parker had 10.
“I wasn’t disappointed in what we ran on offense,” Louisiana Tech coach Keith Richard said. “It just wasn’t enough offense to stay in the game. Davis hit some tremendous shots for his size with a hand pretty much in his face. He hit some big-time shots.”
Martin provided a spark when he entered the game in the first half, scoring 13 points in nine minutes.
All of Martin’s points came during a stretch in which LSU outscored Louisiana Tech 15-4. Martin’s first 3-pointer gave the Tigers a 14-8 lead. Following a field goal by Parker, Martin hit consecutive 3s.
“We didn’t shoot the ball as we would have liked on the perimeter except for Terry Martin,” Brady said. “I knew Terry can score the ball. Another positive thing is that Terry’s teammates look for him.”
A basket by Martin gave LSU a 26-12 lead, but five points by McDowell helped the Bulldogs trim the deficit to 33-22 at halftime.
Louisiana Tech cut the Tigers’ lead to 40-33 at the start of the second half. McKenzie connected on two field goals and a foul shot during that stretch.
LSU then put the game away with a 13-2 run.
The Tigers shot 42.3 percent for the game (22-of-52) and 31.6 percent from the arc (6-of-19). Tech shot just 35.6 percent (21-of-59) and connected on just 4-of-21 from the 3-point line. LSU also outrebounded Louisiana Tech, 45-25 with 15 offensive boards, seven by Davis.
“They were tough on the boards,” Richard said. “We knew that coming in, and they were. Even when we did block them out sometimes, they were just bigger and stronger and pushed us under there.”