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Nov 21, 2022 12:22 pm

KJ Williams leads LSU over Illinois State in Caymans

KJ Williams scored 33 points as LSU stayed undefeated by routing Illinois State 77-61 on Monday to open the three-day Cayman Islands Classic in George Town, Cayman Islands.

The Tigers (4-0) raced to a 27-point halftime lead and coasted against the Redbirds (2-3).

On Tuesday, in the semi-finals LSU will face Akron, who defeated Western Kentucky 72-53 on Monday. Western Kentucky will face Illinois State in the consolation bracket also on Tuesday.

Williams made 13 of 19 field-goal attempts and all six of his free throws, adding eight rebounds, three assists, two steals and one block. Adam Miller chipped in 13 points, making all eight of his free throws, and Cam Hayes had 10 points off the bench.

Darius Burford scored 17 points, Seneca Knight added 14 and Colton Sandage had 12 to lead the Redbirds.

The Tigers began their first season under former Murray State coach Matt McMahon with an 11-point victory against Kansas City and a nine-point victory against Arkansas State before breaking out with a 29-point victory against New Orleans last Thursday.

They kept rolling Monday.

Williams scored nine of the Tigers’ first 10 points in the second half and they were able to maintain a comfortable lead the rest of the way despite being outscored 43-32 in the second half.

Burford made a 3-pointer to give Illinois State its only lead of the game, 3-2, before LSU scored the next 13 points.

The lead grew to 21-5 as the Redbirds made just two field goals in the first 12-plus minutes of the game.

Illinois State got within 25-10 before the Tigers pulled away to a 45-18 halftime lead. LSU shot 65.4 percent from the floor (17 of 26) and the Redbirds shot 29.2 percent (7 of 24) in the first half.

According to LSU Sports Information, the 27-point halftime lead matched the margin at Tennessee on Feb. 14, 2015 for the largest away from home since 1987.

–Field Level Media

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