LSU freshman forward Naz Reid played most of the second half and all of overtime with four fouls, severely limiting what he could do on defense, but that didn’t keep him from taking two critical charges and having a career night for the Tigers in a 94-88 overtime victory in Bud Walton Arena on Saturday night.
Reid finished with 27 points and seven rebounds in one of his best performances as he shot 10 for 12 from the field including 4 for 4 from the 3-point line.
The Tigers (12-3, 2-0 Southeastern Conference) escaped Fayetteville, Ark., with a victory despite letting a 12-point second-half lead disappear within the span of a few minutes as the Razorbacks (10-5, 1-2) went on a 12-0 run to tie the game with five minutes remaining and ultimately force overtime.
The Tigers ran into foul trouble early as Reid picked up his fourth foul early in the second half, Kavell Bigby-Williams with 5:38 and Darius Days exited the game shortly after that with what appeared to be a knee injury.
LSU head coach Will Wade relied on Reid and Emmitt Williams to shoulder the load in the post, and small forward Marlon Taylor helped out considerably with 21 points and seven rebounds, four of which came on the offensive end to extend possessions.
Tremont Waters also had a good game, playing 42 minutes in which he scored 17 points and 11 assists for the double-double in addition to three steals. Skylar Mays added 15 points.
Daniel Gafford, as expected, played like one of the best players in the country, dominating the post by shooting 14 for 19 for a game-high 32 points.
But the Tigers were able to limit his impact on the game, as he finished with the game’s worst +/- line with -10. In contrast, Reid finished with +22, making him the biggest impact player of the game by far.
Things won’t get any easier for LSU moving forward, as the Tigers will travel to Oxford, Miss., on Tuesday for a showdown with Ole Miss, fresh off wins against No. 11 Auburn and Mississippi State, who has spent much of the season in the Top 25.