Junior guard Skylar Mays and freshman guard Ja'vonte Smart carried LSU's offensive load for most of the night with sophomore guard Tremont Waters struggling to find his shot and freshman forward Naz Reid in foul trouble.
Mays and Smart combined for 30 of LSU's points in a 85-76 win over Memphis on Tuesday night.
Mays scored 12 of LSU's 17 points in the final seven minutes of the first half. His string of scoring was sparked by a huge dunk over a Memphis defender and was capped off with two three pointers turning a 29-all game into a 48-39 lead for the Tigers going into halftime.
"It felt good," Mays said. "Felt good mainly because I could get the other guys going. It felt like a spark for the other guys.
"I told the guys that is about it for the year. That's all I got in me"
He finished the game with 19 points on 6-of-11 shooting, three made threes, and a perfect 4-of-4 from the free throw line. It’s a welcomed sight for Mays after struggling with his shot against UNC-Greensboro.
“I’ve been shooting the ball pretty bad to start the season off, and it was good to see one go in and get my confidence going from there,” Mays said.
Mays along senior center Kavell Bigby-Williams were both challenged by LSU coach Will Wade this week. Bigby-Williams added 14 points on 7-of-7 shooting and three offensive rebounds in 20 minutes off the bench in support of Reid.
“I was really proud of those two guys for the way they responded, and what we saw tonight from Kavell is what he does,” Wade said. “He’s a really, really good player for us.”
The lead Mays helped create didn't last for long, however. LSU's offense stagnated coming out of the break, and Memphis opened the second half on a 15-4 run to take a 54-52 lead.
He assisted on back-to-back threes by Mays and Reid then made another shot inside to get LSU back ahead 62-55 with 10 minutes left in the game. LSU didn't relinquish the lead and kept its distance from Memphis the rest of the night.
A dunk by freshman forward Emmitt Williams over two Memphis defenders appeared to ice the game with a minute left, but Memphis tried to extend the game by fouling.
LSU continued its hot free throw shooting on the season and made seven-straight to close out the game. They are now shooting 82 percent (64-of-78) from the stripe.
LSU has started 3-0 for the fourth-consecutive season and will be back on the court against Louisiana Tech on Friday at 7 p.m.