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POSTGAME: LSU 97, UNC-Wilmington 84

Duop Reath has a career night in Tigers win

NCAA Basketball: NC-Wilmington at Louisiana State Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Your LSU Basketball Tigers improve to 5-2 as they defeat the now 2-5 UNC-Wilmington Seahawks by a score of 97-84. The Tigers were expected to score well and win by 10, and they did exactly that. It’s good to play according to expectations for once, huh?

“I thought it was a good win, funky things can happen coming out of exams,” said Coach Wade after the game. “We were better today defensively, but they just hit some tough shots. They’re a really good offensive team.” Coach probably wasn’t thrilled with giving up 84 points, but he realized that’s more credit to the Seahawks than taking anything away from his own team.

Again, Duop Reath didn’t start the game, but I’m guessing that Wade’s reasoning of Epps being better to hedge the screen still stands. Regardless, the senior power forward scored a career high 30 points Sunday afternoon. He was just a machine in the paint, an offensive weapon that should be very valuable in the SEC.

“We wanted to establish ‘Wop in the inside early,” Wade spoke of the simple game plan. “And we were able to do that pretty well. He does a good job sealing in transition and with misdirection. It’s not as easy to keep feeding a post player.”

Assisting Reath and just about any other Tiger within sight was yet again the freshman sensation Tremont Waters. At a glance, Waters scored 20 points, snagged 9 rebounds, and dished out 10 assists, finishing only one rebound away from a triple double.

“The one where he threw it behind his head probably wasn’t the best decision,” Coach Wade said with a smirk. “but he does a lot of really good things with the ball.” While Waters turned in another tremendous offensive display, he did lead the team with seven turnovers. “With the type of player he is, that’s the way it goes.”

Skylar Mays was one of the more consistent Tigers on offense tonight, turning in a 14 point performance and shooting 5-6 from the floor. Wayde Sims had a strong showing as well, and despite only shooting 40% from the floor, he would finish with 11 points and 6 rebounds. As a team, LSU turned the ball over a concerning 16 times, but only two players committed multiple turnovers, 7 of them by Tremont Waters. That’s the high risk that comes with the high reward, though. And I’ll always trade 7 turnovers for a 20/9/10 stat line.

LSU led after scoring their first points and never looked back, and outscored the Seahawks in the paint 48-18. Despite losing the turnover battle 16-13, LSU outscored UNC-W 21-14 in possessions off turnovers. This was just a good team having more talent than a smaller team, no surprises here. It might’ve been a relatively boring win, but it’s a win. With a 5-2 record, the Tigers are already halfway to last year’s win total, a number the Tigers will hope to match before the SEC opener against Kentucky.

The Tigers return to the PMAC Wednesday night for a bout with the Houston Cougars (8-1). The Coogs are ranked 44th by KenPom, and boast big wins over Wake Forest and Arkansas. That game will tip off at 8pm and will be televised on the SEC Network.