The LSU basketball team found the cure Wednesday night for what ailed them — at least temporarily.
While Gardner-Webb can hardly be called a tonic, LSU came out and did what it hasn’t done in recent games.
Better defense led to better rebounding, which went hand-in-hand in helping LSU record a 78-57 blowout of Gardner-Webb in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.
Forward Craig Victor II, who was making his LSU debut after transferring from Arizona last January, had a hand in both.
Victor came off the bench to score 10 points and pull down five rebounds and provided a physical presence down low the Tigers haven’t had enough of in dropping four of its previous five games.
LSU (5-4) held Gardner-Webb below 30 percent from the field for much of the game and out-rebounded the visitors 54-35. It was a season-high for the Tigers and only the third time in nine games they won the battle on the glass.
While it was an improvement from Sunday’s 105-98 overtime loss to Houston, LSU did have its flaws.
The Tigers, who led by as many as 23 points in the first half en route to a 42-23 advantage at the break, got a little sloppy in the second half after twice pushing the lead to 25 points.
LSU, which had only six turnovers in the first half, had nine in the second half which allowed Gardner-Webb (4-7) to creep back into the game -- cutting the huge deficit to 13 points with 3:55 remaining.
The Tigers were only 12-of-29 from the free-throw line, missing their first 11 attempts of the second half before making seven of their last 10. Victor, who was playing his first game in almost a year, was 1-of-10.
Guard Keith Hornsby, who had 32 points in his season debut Sunday, had 14 points to lead five LSU players in double digits.
Ben Simmons and Antonio Blakeney dropped in 11 each, while Victor and Aaron Epps had 10 each.
Simmons recorded his seventh consecutive double-double when he had 12 rebounds, while Epps added a career-high 11 for his first career double-double. Tim Quarterman had seven rebounds and Hornsby grabbed six.
LSU wound up shooting 46.9 percent from the field, while Gardner-Webb connected on 33.3 percent of its shots after hitting just 24.1 percent in the first half.