THIBODAUX — A short-handed LSU men’s basketball team had to come back from a six-point deficit early in the second half Saturday to take a 74-62 win over Nicholls State in an NCAA charity exhibition game.
The contest was played in Stopher Gymnasium on the Nicholls campus with all proceeds going to Hurricane Ida relief efforts in the Houma-Thibodaux area.
Trailing 46-40 with 15:47 to go, LSU went on an 11-0 run to take the lead for good against a spunky Nicholls team that won the Southland Conference regular-season title last winter.
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LSU trailed 34-30 at halftime after leading for most of the first half.
But after Nicholls continued to press the issue, Eric Gaines hit a pair of free throws, Mwani Wilkinson sandwiched baskets around an Alex Fudge layup to give LSU a 48-46 lead.
The Tigers wouldn’t trail again, scoring 32 points in the final 15:47 while holding the Colonels to 16 points.
Cincinnati transfer Tari Eason, a 6-foot-8 forward, led LSU with 22 points and 15 rebounds. Gaines finished with 15 points and nine assists, Wilkinson had 12 points and Brandon Murray 10.
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Devante Carter scored 16 points to lead Nicholls, while Ty Gordon and Pierce Spencer had 12 each.
LSU coach Will Wade played just seven players as Darius Days, Xavier Pinson, Efton Reid, Justice Williams and Shareef O’Neal were held out along with Adam Miller, who tore his right ACL in practice and is out for the season.
“We didn’t have a lot of our name guys, so I think we had some guys that played with an edge because they wanted to come out and show everyone who they are,” Wade said.
“We had some nagging injuries, but hopefully. in the next 10 days to two weeks we’ll have all five of those guys back.”