BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Seven players scored in double figures as LSU defeated Nicholls State 96-74 in the season opener for both teams Saturday.
Freshmen Anthony Hickey and John Isaac led the Tigers with 14 and 13 points, respectively. Johnny O'Bryant, another freshman, finished with 12 points and a game-high eight rebounds.
Ralston Turner and Andre Stringer, LSU's top two scorers a year ago as freshmen, each scored 12 points. Justin Hamilton, who sat out last year after transferring from Iowa State, had 11 points and Storm Warren picked up 10 points.
Freshman Trevon Lewis was the leading scorer for the Colonels with 19 points. Chris Talkington added 13 points and freshman Lachlan Prest had 12 points for Nicholls State.
It took LSU more than eight minutes to take control of the game. Trailing 16-12, the Tigers scored 10 consecutive points to build their first comfortable lead of the day. After a basket by Isaac, Hickey and Stringer knocked down 3-pointers. A field goal by Hamilton completed the run.
Minutes later, LSU went on another run and outscored Nicholls State 13-1 to go ahead by 14 points. Turner made a 3-pointer and hit three free throws after being fouled on another 3-point attempt. Hamilton connected on a pair of foul shots and a field goal, while Hickey hit a 3-pointer.
On two occasions in the last four minutes of the half, the Tigers took a 15-point advantage - the last at 48-33 on three free throws by Stringer, who was fouled on a 3-point attempt. LSU made seven 3-pointers in the first half, while the Colonels made eight 3-pointers before halftime.
The Tigers extended their 11-point halftime lead by scoring the first eight points of the second half to lead 59-40. O'Bryant scored four points during the run and the Tigers' advantage was never fewer than 10 points the rest of the game.