Sam Spiegelman/SEC Country
LSU basketball coach Will Wade led the Tigers to a victory over Texas A&M on Tuesday.

LSU basketball shuts down Texas A&M, earns first home SEC win

Nick Suss

BATON ROUGE, La. — Duop Reath was dominant for the second game in a row, and this time the LSU basketball team took advantage of it.

LSU ended its three-game SEC slide and earned its first conference home win of 2018 with a 77-65 win over Texas A&M Tuesday night, the Tigers’ second win over the Aggies this season. With the win, LSU improved to 12-7 on the season and 3-4 in SEC play, surpassing LSU’s full-season SEC win total from 2016-17.

Reath built off his career-high 31-point performance versus Vanderbilt with another impressive showing. Against a Texas A&M team known for its height and strength in the paint, Reath put up 21 points on 9-of-14 shooting with 8 rebounds. This is the second time in Reath’s LSU career that he’s score 20 points in back-to-back games, the first of which coming last season versus College of Charleston and Texas Southern.

“He’s good,” LSU coach Will Wade said of Reath. “He got a couple in transition and he made a couple of good post moves. He got into their body and made a couple post moves. He’s playing good basketball right now.”

Freshman guard Tremont Waters’ shooting slump continued, as the once-dominant scorer mustered 15 points on 5-of-14 shooting. That said, Waters contributed as a distributor, leading LSU with 9 assists and 8 steals.

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Turnovers were the story of the game. LSU forced them, Texas A&M didn’t. The Tigers scored 28 points off 20 turnovers, while the Aggies were only able to muster 10 points off 7 LSU turnovers. More surprisingly, LSU managed to dominate in the paint as well. Despite Texas A&M’s 8 blocks and the Aggies’ significant rebounding advantage, LSU outscored the Aggies in the paint 40-34.

“If you’re gonna get blasted on the glass like that, you have to get some steals,” Wade said. “Which we did.”

Texas A&M trimmed the LSU lead to 10 points with less than 3 minutes remaining in the second half, the fourth time the Aggies had done so without trimming the deficit to single digits. Waters re-extended LSU’s lead with a heaved 3-pointer from a distance reminiscent of his buzzer beater to defeat the Aggies earlier in the season.

What’s next for LSU basketball?

LSU basketball returns to action on Saturday when the Tigers travel to Auburn to face the top team in the SEC. Action is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. CT and will be televised on the SEC Network.