LSU beats Southeastern Louisiana by 53 points in home basketball opener

Glenn Guilbeau
Lafayette Daily Advertiser

BATON ROUGE — The LSU basketball team did just about everything right in its home opener on Monday night as it beat Southeastern Louisiana, 96-43, in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.

The 53-point win was the Tigers' largest margin of victory since beating Nicholls State, 96-42, on Nov. 17, 2006.

LSU (2-1) next plays against Louisiana Tech (2-0) at 5 p.m. Sunday at home on the SEC Network. Tech hosts Louisiana-Monroe on Thursday.

Here are three takeaways from the game:

Defense arrives

After allowing an average of 83 points in its first two games and a a 53 percent shooting percentage, the Tigers gave up just 43 points and 22 percent shooting.

"I thought we gave great effort," LSU coach Will Wade said. "Our defense was much better, much crisper. We did a better job of guarding through the shot clock. We did a much better job sustaining our defense. We were much more connected on the defensive end."

Thomas-Watford show

LSU freshman guard Cameron Thomas, who was named the Southeastern Conference freshman of the week on Monday after averaging 26 points in his first two games, scored 21 points. He was 4-of-8 from 3-point range. Forward Trendon Watford scored 20 points with nine rebounds and three assists and hit was 2-of-3 from 3-point range.

"I love it," Wade said of Watford. "He had five offensive rebounds. He's an absolute monster on the offensive glass. He's somebody that can really help us."

Forward Darius Days added 11 points and seven rebounds, and point guard Javonte Smart scored 10 points with five rebounds and five assists.


LSU turned the ball over only 12 times and outrebounded the Lions, 53-33. The Tigers shot 50 percent from the field and 36 percent from 3-point range.