VALENCIA, Spain – The Tigers tour of Spain changed locations on Saturday with a four-hour bus trip from Madrid to the city of Valencia, located on the east coast of the Iberian Peninsula.
The Tigers arrived late afternoon at their hotel headquarters and will have a team dinner this evening. The team will play its second exhibition game of the tour against the Valencia All-Stars on Saturday at 5 p.m. CET (10 a.m. Baton Rouge time) at the home of Valencia Basketball, the L’Alqueria Del Basket.
LSU is coming off a 92-88 loss to the 18th-ranked team in the FIBA World Poll in the Dominican Republic in a highly entertaining game in Madrid on Thursday night local time. The game saw LSU build a quick early lead in the first five minutes, but the physicality and experience of the Dominican Republic team began to show through, rallying to take a 52-48 halftime lead.
The Dominican Republic built the lead to as much as 11 in the third quarter before the Tigers made a nice rally to take the lead, 81-80, on a four-point play as Javonte Smart was intentionally fouled and made two free throws and Charles Manning Jr., put back his own miss on the ensuing inbounds play. The Tigers led 85-82 before being outscored 10-3 over the final minutes of the game.
The winners have played several games together in 2019 and are prepping for a game this coming week with Spain before heading to China for the 2019 World Cup at the end of the month and their ability to play together against an LSU team with several new pieces proved to be one of the differences in an opening game for the Tigers.
“It was a good learning experience for us as we move forward. We left a lot of points on the table,” said LSU Coach Will Wade after the game Thursday. “We were in the double bonus and shooting threes instead of driving it to get fouled. They did a good job of manipulating the free throw line better than we did. It was just one of those deals. Hopefully we will learn from it and be better.”
LSU was over its average last season inside the arc, hitting 63 percent, but made just 6-of-25 shots outside the arc. The team shot just about on average from last season at the free throw line at 75 percent (18-24). One thing the Tigers will look to cut down on is turnovers with 16 for the game, most of those in the first three quarters. LSU gave us several points off turnovers and got back in the game in the fourth quarter when they were statistically given no turnovers.
There will be no radio or streaming broadcast of the game. Updates will be available on @LSUBasketball and a complete recap later in the evening on LSUsports.net.
(Press Release Provided by LSU Athletics)