MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica (AP) — Emmitt Williams scored a career-high 27 points with nine rebounds and LSU bounced back from a disappointing loss to beat Rhode Island 96-83 on Sunday at the Jamaica Classic.
Two days after blowing a 19-point lead in a two-point loss to No. 15 Utah in their Jamaica opener, the Tigers (4-2) came on strong in the final five minutes against the Rams (4-2) to ensure their win. Williams led the way in the paint, scoring 10 points, including eight straight, in a 17-6 run capped by five consecutive points from Skylar Mays. The run extended an eight-point lead to 19 with 1:13 to go.
Williams finished 12-of-17 shooting, all but two of his shots coming inside the arc. Trendon Watford and Darius Days, the latter 6 of 8 from the floor, each had 16 points. Mays added 14 and six assists and Javonte Smart had 11 points and six assists. The Tigers shot 54%, including 59% in the second half when they were 4 of 6 from the arc.
Fatts Russell scored 26 points with eight assists for the Rams (4-2), who shot 49%. Cyril Langevine added 16 points and a team-high six rebounds, Jeff Dowtin 15 points and Jacob Toppin 10 points.
LSU took a 43-39 halftime lead behind 13 points and five rebounds from Williams and 12 points from Days. Neither team led by more than seven during the first half in which Rhode Island got 14 points from Langvine and 12 by Russell. The Tigers used a 9-0 run that Days started with a 3-pointer and Williams finished with a dunk to go up 37-30 with just over 4½ minutes left before the break.
The Tigers kept their lead throughout the second half though the Rams cut it to one early before the Tigers rebuilt their lead and kept it between seven and 12 points until their decisive run.
The Tigers outrebounded the Rams 41-28.
Both LSU losses have been by two points, to Utah State and VCU. Rhode Island had a three-game win streak snapped.
LSU: Host to Missouri State on Friday.
Rhode Island: Host to Manhattan on Wednesday.