The #25 LSU Tigers extended their home win streak to 18 games Wednesday night after they knocked off the Georgia Bulldogs 92-82. The Bulldogs fall to 9-9 (1-5 SEC) while the Tigers improve to an impressive 15-3 (5-0) record.
After an early pair of free throws, Georgia led the home team 8-2 until Tremont Waters decided to take matters into his own hands, scoring 7 of LSU’s first 13 points to tie the game up and end a Bulldog lead they would never regain. The Tigers went on a 14-0 run while the Bulldogs suffered a three minute scoring drought, and the game never really left LSU’s control from that point.
The Tigers took a 48-36 lead into halftime, but gave up 46 points and were outscored in the second half. Though the result is still another shiny W, Coach Wade was focused a bit more on what went wrong.
“We didn’t play very well. I’m not real pleased about things,” Coach Wade began. “We have a lot of stuff we have to get better about. We were exposed a little bit tonight in some areas we haven’t been...Our defense, our post defense, our overall defense, it looked like it did at the beginning of the year. We have a lot, a lot of work to do. This is not what we expect and not to our standard.”
The Bulldogs, who are now shooting 53.4% from 2pt and 32.4% from 3pt on the season, shot 56.4% and 47.1% respectively tonight. What may have also caused some bias around the score, in my opinion, was Georgia scoring 10 more points off turnovers than LSU despite committing 9 more turnovers.
“On the plus side, we did only turn it over eight times which was tremendous. That allowed us to score a bunch,” added Wade.
The Tigers only gave up 8 turnovers tonight, their least since 7 against Louisiana Tech, the fourth game of the season. Naz Reid was responsible for 5 turnovers himself, but he’s slowly coming into his own as the game gets faster and the players get bigger. Reid finished the game with 15 points, 7 rebounds, 3 blocks and 2 steals, including a perfect three pointer that he seemingly had no business taking. His turnovers and -7 BPM aside, he’s starting to produce really well in increased minutes.
Tremont Waters dominated the offensive game in classic fashion, leading scoring with 26 points on 14 attempts and adding 4 assists and 4 steals. This game had all the makings of a heart breaker after Tremont carried the load last year, but this year he’s got the team and support to translate those performances into wins.
Skylar Mays added 20 points, 8 on a perfect 8 free throw attempts on an otherwise shaky free throw night for the rest of the team. Excluding Mays’ shots, the Tigers went 61.9% from the line, a certain disappointment after Saturday’s 91.4% performance.
“Tre was great. Sky was great in the first half. Tre and Sky bailed us out with their offense,” Wade noted. “They bailed us out. We were able to score pretty much at will against their matchup and against their man. We scored 92 points and only turned it over eight times. That’s not where our issues are. We can score decent. We’re going to get exposed on Saturday if we don’t correct some things.”
Hopefully the Tigers will correct some things to Wade’s standards before they head to Columbia, Missouri this Saturday to take on the Missouri Tigers. Missouri is currently 10-7 (1-4 SEC) and have lost their last two games at home.