No. 19 LSU jumped out to a big lead and never let Charleston get too close as the Tigers won their fifth straight with a 67-55 victroy against the Cougars.
The Tigers (5-0) were led by a big performance from Emmitt Williams who finished with 14 points and a rebound shy of his third double-double of the season despite playing just 20 minutes.
Star freshman Naz Reid returned to his role as a starter but continued to play limited time as he recorded just 15 minutes in which tallied 6 points and two rebounds, including a momentum-building dunk in the second half.
The Tigers will return to the HP Fieldhouse in Orlando for a game against either Florida State or UAB at 3:30 p.m. for a spot in Sunday’s championship game.
The Tigers looked dominant to start things off and controlled the pace for the remainder of the first half.
LSU jumped out to an 18-5 lead, but Charleston didn’t really let it get much worse than that as the Tigers led 33-22 at the break after taking their foot off the gas.
Williams looked great in the post against the Cougars, shooting 4 for 5 for eight points to go along with six rebounds.
The Tigers boasted a 52 percent shooting clip for the half while holding Charleston to 28 percent from the field.
LSU continued to control the game, never letting the Cougars cut the deficit to single digits for the entirety of the second half.
The Cougars, however did a good job of slowing the Tigers down in the half court, out-rebounding LSU 35-34 and hanging around striking distance until the final minutes of the game.
Naz Reid didn’t play much during the second half, but he made the most of his time with an authoritative dunk that will added to his already high number of highlight-reel plays.
— Tyler Nunez (@ByTylerNunez) November 23, 2018
The Tigers’ saving grace was a poor night shooting for Charleston, which shot 34 percent from the field and just 5 of 24 from the 3-point line, by far the fewest 3-pointers a team has hit against LSU so far this season.
LSU shot the ball find from the field (51.9 percent) but continued to struggle from the 30point line shooting just 30 percent from beyond the arc.