The story of LSU’s 72-57 win over Texas A&M starts and stops with those two words resting above this paragraph. LSU’s sophomore sensation had one of the better individual performances in recent LSU basketball memory, scoring 36 points, knocking down six three pointers, grabbing seven rebounds, and swiping three steals.
The Tigers improved to 17-3 on the year and 7-0 in league play Wednesday night in College Station. The Tigers have won 10 in a row, their longest streak since 2009, and included in the streak is a four-game streak on the road in SEC play.
Waters got off to a hot start with 23 points in the first half and hit five of seven threes. At one point, Waters had 20 of LSU’s first 30 points, and was the only Tiger to hit a three or a free throw.
Though Waters was excellent, he was virtually playing one against five. Naz Reid and Skylar Mays couldn’t get anything going, with the duo combining to miss all 13 of their shots in the first half. Marlon Taylor and Darius Days each had six points, while JaVonte Smart chipped in one basket. The lack of a supporting cast nearly negated Waters and LSU went into the half up only one point, 37-36.
That A&M was down one was largely owed to LSU’s own doing. The seven other players who took the floor that were not named Tremont Waters combined to score 14 points, and the Tigers allowed the Aggies far too many free throw attempts, with A&M getting to the line 18 times. But despite LSU not being able to get much scoring done by their front court, the Tiger bigs were grabbing virtually every missed shot and snagged 12 offensive rebounds in the opening 20 minutes. Credit to Darius Days and Naz Reid for staying with every miss and grabbing six and three offensive boards respectively.
For LSU to get out of College Station with a win, the Tigers would have to get contributions from players other than Waters and, fortunately, his teammates delivered. Reid and Kavell Bigby-Williams came to life with seven points apiece. The duo used their mix of size, strength and will to pound Texas A&M inside and made sure to grab as many rebounds as possible. LSU ended the night with a 45-39 rebounding advantage and absolutely dominated A&M on the offensive boards, 21-14.
The Tigers did a good job of keeping the hands active be it on the glass, handing out assists (10 assists on 26 baskets), blocking eight shots, and stealing nine balls from A&M. The offense wasn’t quite up to par for LSU (37 percent from the floor, 28 from three) but the Tigers made sure to win virtually every other category of importance and was able to keep the Aggies at arm’s length all night long.
The Tigers return home to the PMAC to take on Arkansas Saturday at 5:00 P.M. The game will be televised on the SEC Network.