It had been a long week since we’ve seen the LSU basketball team but the Tigers looked every bit as dominant this Saturday as they did in last Saturday’s win over Tennessee.
The Tigers (q4-6, 9-5) rolled for its third straight win, beating Auburn (11-12, 5-9) 104 to 80 Saturday afternoon. It was a game LSU dominated from the jump, leading Auburn by as many as 28 points. The 104 points is a season best for the impressive LSU offense and the most LSU has scored against an SEC team since 1996.
Cam Thomas was, once again, excellent leading all scorers with 27 points, hitting three of six three-pointers and 10 of 11 free throws. Trendon Watford had an 18-point, 11-rebound double-double, while Darius Days and Javonte Smart buried Auburn with eight combined threes—17 points for Days, 16 for Smart. Josh LeBlanc also got in on the fun, posting 12 points and 10 rebounds off the bench.
LSU had a comfortable 16-point lead at the half, capped off by Darius Days hitting a three with five seconds to play. The Tigers played one of its best halves of the entire season, shooting 6-12 from three, and defensively they held Auburn to 38 percent shooting overall. But the most pleasant surprise was how well LSU rebounded the ball. The Tigers grabbed 26 rebounds in the first half alone, including 12 on the offensive end.
Cam Thomas was feeling it early, scoring 16 points in 18 minutes. Trendon Watford and Javonte Smart were also in a first half rhythm, scoring 11 and 10 points respectively.
Days opened the second half the same way he did in the first with a corner three; he followed that make with yet another three to give LSU a 20-point, 56-36 lead. Days’s three to begin the second half was a thing of beauty: two passes, two dribbles, swish.
Darius Days ended the first half with a 3— LSU Basketball (@LSUBasketball) February 20, 2021
Darius Days starts the second half with two 3's
Just for good measure, Days connected on a third straight three while Thomas added another of his own, upping LSU’s lead to 21 points. LSU would eventually build up its lead to 23-points thanks to true freshman Eric Gaines finding Darius Days underneath the hoop and Javonte Smart for three.
It won’t show on the stat sheet, but Eric Gaines had one of his best games of his freshman campaign. Gaines only had two points, but his active hands forced a pair of steals and he created opportunities for teammates, generating three assists.
When the final buzzer sounded, LSU had polished off one of its most complete games of the season. LSU pounded Auburn in the interior to the tune of 50 points in the paint, used their speed to score 25 fast break points, and turned 12 Auburn turnovers into 21 points.
The win keeps LSU ahead of Arkansas for second place in the SEC thanks to owning the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Hogs. LSU’s next game is a Tuesday evening road trip to Athens to take on Georgia.