For the second time in as many games, the LSU basketball team (10-4, 5-3) was outclassed by their opponent and lost to the Kentucky Wildcats (5-9, 4-3) 82-69 Saturday evening.
The win snapped Kentucky’s three-game losing streak and handed LSU consecutive losses for the first time this season. Unlike Tuesday night’s loss against Alabama where LSU never led, the Tigers did manage to claim a lead...for a grand total of 15 seconds.
Kentucky, like Alabama, used the three-ball to build up an early lead it would never relinquish. Kentucky opened the game hitting five of its first eight three pointers. But unlike Alabama, Kentucky wouldn’t sustain its hot shooting, and only hit on two of its final 18 threes.
LSU couldn’t make Kentucky pay for its shooting slump because the Tigers were bogged down by their own offensive woes. LSU shot 23 threes and only made four. Trendon Watford and Cam Thomas scored 44 of LSU’s 69 points and those two had their fair share of bricks Saturday.
Watford needed 20 shots to score 26 points; Thomas needed 20 to score 18. Players not named Watford or Thomas combined to shoot nine of 25, highlighted by Javonte Smart’s 2-11 effort.
Aside from Watford, 26 points and 10 rebounds, nobody else had a good game. Thomas and Smart combined to miss 23 shots; Darius Days fouled out; and Mwani Wilkinson, Josh LeBlanc and Eric Gaines all had four fouls.
Alabama beating LSU by dropping a billion threes on their head is one thing, but Kentucky did something worse: they exposed the holes on the LSU roster.
We’ve talked all season how LSU lacks a great rebounder and a true facilitator for the entire offense, and it was on display again tonight. Kentucky had an alarming +15 advantage on the glass, 46-31, and LSU only had five assists.
Now sure, when you have a poor night shooting of course you won’t have as many assists. But how many possessions end with Cam Thomas trying to bail out the offense by tossing up a prayer? The ball doesn’t move nearly enough, and if it’s costing LSU games in January it will surely end their season in March.