After a lethargic first half in which the Tigers shot worse than 36 percent from the field, the LSU basketball team took advantage of No. 18 Ole Miss’ similarly slow start and adjusted at halftime to dominate the second half and come away with a convincing 83-69 victory in Oxford.
The Tigers (13-3, 3-0 Southeastern Conference) remained unbeaten in conference and picked up its second victory against an Associated Press Top 25 team this season as they ran away from the Rebels (13-3, 3-1) in the second half and never looked back, handing them their first SEC lost and snapping their 10-game win streak.
“We were so stagnant in the first half,” said LSU head coach Will Wade in a postgame interview on the SEC Network. “Ole Miss is a good defensive team.
“We moved the ball better in the second half. I thought our defense was really good. We did a good job on their 3-point shooters.”
Tremont Waters finished with a team-high 20 points and an assist shy of a double-double to go along with a trio of steals.
Waters served as a spark plug at multiple points in the game and his consistent play on both sides of the ball helped keep LSU in the game early on when it struggled scoring, sometimes for lengthy periods of time.
“He just needs to be himself,” Wade said. “He’s a great player. He’s an elite point guard. I wouldn’t trade him for anybody else in the country.”
Kavell Bigby-Williams posted a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds before fouling out after playing 28 minutes.
Skylar Mays and Marlon Taylor both contributed double-digit scoring efforts, tallying 14 points and 12 points, respectively. The Tigers shot 9 for 19 from the 3-point line despite missing their first four shots from behind the arc.
Naz Reid shot 4 for 8 for nine points and four rebounds.
Ole Miss was led by Terence Davis with 21 points and 10 rebounds. The Tigers limited the Rebels to 8 for 28 from the 3-point line and 40.5 percent shooting from the field.
After winning back-to-back road games, LSU will return to the PMAC on Saturday for a 5 p.m. showdown with South Carolina, which will also look to remain unbeaten in SEC play when it travels to Vanderbilt on Wednesday afternoon.