- Associated Press - Sunday, January 19, 2014

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - One day earlier, Johnny O'Bryant acknowledged that he was in a slump.

O'Bryant ended a four-game stretch of mediocre production in LSU’s 81-58 victory against Vanderbilt in a Southeastern Conference game Saturday.

O'Bryant registered his fourth double-double of the season and his first in two months by scoring 22 points and grabbing 12 rebounds. In the Tigers’ last four games - three of which were defeats, O'Bryant averaged ten points and six rebounds.

In LSU’s overtime defeat at Ole Miss last Wednesday, O'Bryant had only six points and five rebounds. The 22 points were O'Bryant’s most since he scored 25 in the season-opener at Massachusetts. The 12 rebounds were O'Bryant’s second highest total of the season.

“I was just taking my time, posting hard and going to the rim like a mad man to get offensive rebounds,” O'Bryant said. “I was trying to get my team as much energy at each possession as I could. I pushed the guys to come out with a lot of energy. We just had to turn up the intensity. It showed tonight.”

Jordan Mickey had 13 points for the Tigers (11-5, 2-2). Jarell Martin and Andre Stringer scored 11 and 10 points, respectively. LSU out-rebounded Vanderbilt 48-24 and outscored the Commodores 40-24 in the paint.

“We’re really excited for our guys to be rewarded for their efforts in practice and in games,” LSU coach Johnny Jones said. “Defensively, our guys did a tremendous job of staying attached to them, crowding them and making sure they took contested shots.”

Vanderbilt made only five of its 20 attempts from behind the 3-point line. Overall, the Commodores shot just 36 percent (19 of 53) from the field. Rod Odom led Vanderbilt (9-7, 1-3) with 20 points. Damian Jones had 16 points, while Dai-Jon Parker finished with 10.

“Their team played very well and our team did not,” Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings said. “LSU did what they needed to do. O'Bryant established himself as the dominant player in the game. He was good throughout. Obviously, I am very disappointed in our rebounding effort.”

O'Bryant was dominant in the opening half for LSU with 13 points and 10 rebounds. He even made his first 3-pointer of the season in the first 20 minutes.

“Johnny didn’t have a great game the other night,” Jones said. “He went 1-of-5 and fouled out at the end. Tonight, he didn’t allow the last game to bother him. He came out focused and got off to a great start. He made his first couple of shots and got some big boards. He played at a whole different level.”

The Tigers took control of the game with a 10-0 run during the middle of the opening half. O'Bryant started the outburst with two foul shots which tied the score at 11-11 with 12:22 remaining before halftime. A basket by Martin on the next possession gave LSU the lead for good.

Mickey made one of two free throws and backup point guard Tim Quarterman connected on a 3-pointer. A basket by Stringer put the Tigers in front 19-11 with 9:17 remaining in the half.

Vanderbilt came no closer than five points during the rest of the first half. A pair of foul shots by both O'Bryant and Quarterman in the last 90 seconds gave LSU a 35-25 lead at the break.

The Tigers didn’t allow the Commodores to cut into their comfortable halftime advantage. Back-to-back field goals by O’Bryant and Malik Morgan put LSU on top 45-32 with 16:16 remaining in the game. Vanderbilt came no closer than nine points the rest of the way.

Copyright © 2016 The Washington Times, LLC.

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