Led by 16 points and seven rebounds from Nick Russell, the SMU Mustangs downed the LSU Tigers 80-67 in a second round battle of the National Invitation Tournament at Moody Coliseum.
For the Mustangs (25-9), Nic Moore also finished with 16 points and dished out five assists, while Markus Kennedy scored 13 and Shawn Williams and Keith Frazier each chipped in with 11 points. The Mustangs now move on to the quarterfinal round later this week to take on the survivor of the Arkansas/California matchup.
Johnny O'Bryant III led the Tigers (20-14) with 16 points, while Andre Stringer added 15 points, Jordan Mickey scored 14 and Jarell Martin tallied 10 points.
LSU was hot from deep to start the game, connecting on 5-of-10 from beyond the arc in the first half, part of a 48.4 percent shooting performance from the field, as the Tigers took a 40-35 lead at the break. SMU had a good stroke early as well, knocking down 51.7 percent of its field goal tries, including 4-of-7 from 3-point range in the opening twenty minutes.
After the break, SMU stayed hot, knocking down 64.3 percent of its shots from the field, including 5-of-7 from 3-point range. LSU struggled with its shot in the second half, hitting on just 38.5 percent of its field goal attempts, including 3-of-13 from beyond the arc. The Mustangs opened the second half on an 13-3 run and never trailed again, eventually pushing their lead to as many as 17 points.
SMU finished with a 38-30 advantage in points in the paint. The Mustangs also had a slight edge on the boards, outrebounding the Tigers 33-31.