KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Minutes after a 73-55 setback to LSU, a game in which his team trailed by 27 points at halftime, it didn’t take Tennessee coach Donnie Tyndall long to cut to the chase.
While LSU forward Jordan Mickey had 20 points and 11 rebounds and intimidated Tennessee with seven blocked shots, Tyndall pointed to guard Tim Quarterman as the Tigers’ “unsung hero” of the game.
In a matchup of 6-foot-6 guards, Quarterman stuck to Josh Richardson from the start and held him to four first-half points on 1-of-6 shooting when LSU built a 47-20 lead.
Richardson went into the game as Tennessee’s leading scorer with 16.1 points a game.
“Tim played really hard and really well,” LSU coach Johnny Jones said. “I thought the team did an excellent job, because when Richardson came off some screens, we had other guys sitting there trying to channel him and make sure we didn’t give him the lane or easy driving opportunities.”
Richardson finished with 15 points — 12 fewer than he had in his last game at Vanderbilt on Thursday night — but some of those points came when Quarterman got a breather in the second half.
“I just tried to stay into him the whole game, fight over screens and stuff,” said Quarterman, who scored 13 points. “We knew that he’s the person that gets them going. He has a high motor and is a good athlete, and a player like that is going to get his shots.
“I just tried to defend him as best as I could to help my team get stops.”
Another road win
After posting a 2-7 record on the road in SEC play a year ago, LSU won for the fourth time this season when it clubbed Tennessee.
LSU is 4-2 away from home in conference with three road games left at Texas A&M (Tuesday), Auburn (Feb. 24) and Arkansas (March 7).
The Tigers earlier won at Ole Miss, Florida and Vanderbilt. Their four road victories this season are one shy of the five LSU claimed in Jones’ first two seasons combined.
Beating the Vols
Jones hasn’t had a lot of luck against Tennessee as a player and head coach, going 4-9 against the Vols.
As a player at LSU from 1981-1984, Jones was 3-6 against Tennessee and then lost his first four games against UT as a head coach — going 0-1 at Memphis and 0-2 at LSU until breaking through Saturday.
With the win, Jones has now defeated each of the other 13 SEC teams at least once.
Tyndall began his Division I coaching career at LSU as a member of John Brady’s staff in 1997.
Tyndall, who at the time was the youngest full-time assistant in the SEC at 25, spent four seasons with Brady. He has also been a head coach Morehead State (2006-12) and Southern Miss (2012-14).
“The biggest thing is coach Brady has been my mentor my entire career,” the 44-year-old Tyndall said at SEC Media Days in October. “He gave me my first opportunity at the Division I level, and I learned a great deal from him.”
Familiar face II
LSU guard Keith Hornsby may have looked a little familiar to some of Tennessee’s upperclassmen when they stepped on the floor Saturday.
Hornsby played against Tennessee in the 2012 Puerto Rico Tip-Off when he was a sophomore at UNC Asheville and scored nine points in a setback to the Vols.
After that season, he transferred to LSU and sat out the 2013-14 season.
LSU connected on 64.0 percent of its shots in the first half Saturday, its best first half of the season. That easily topped the 60.0 percent the Tigers shot in a win over Georgia on Jan. 10. … With 20 points Saturday, Mickey has scored that many in five of his last seven games and is averaging 20.1 a game during that stretch. … Hornsby dropped in 16 points against the Vols, giving him eight consecutive double-digit scoring games.
Follow Sheldon Mickles on Twitter @MicklesAdvocate.