Playing perhaps their best 20 minutes of basketball so far this season, the LSU men’s basketball team built a 12-point halftime lead over UMass on Tuesday night and went on to an 82-60 win in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.
After shooting 65.5 percent from the field in an 11-point victory over McNeese State on Saturday night, LSU (5-2) picked up where it left off and connected on 19 of 36 first-half shots for 52.8 percent to grab a 44-32 advantage at halftime.
UMass (5-3) tied the game at 24-24 with 8:21 to play in the first half, but LSU went on a tear and outscored the visitors 20-8 the rest of the way to carry a double-digit lead to the locker room for the first time this season.
Guard Josh Gray had a career-high 25 points in an LSU uniform, easily surpassing the 18 points he had in his debut with the Tigers in a win over Gardner-Webb on Nov. 14.
Gray connected on 11 of 15 field-goal attempts, including 3 of 4 from beyond the 3-point arc, as LSU shot 53.8 percent (35 of 65) from the floor. Gray also had five assists, four rebounds and three steals.
LSU forward Jordan Mickey bounced back from an ankle injury that sidelined him for the McNeese game with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Guard Tim Quarterman added 15 points.and forward Jarell Martin had 12.
LSU will next play Thursday night against West Virginia in Morgantown, West Virginia, as part of the Southeastern Conference-Big 12 Challenge.