The Will Wade era for the LSU basketball team is off to a better start than anyone would’ve expected.
Behind 21 points from freshman phenom Tremont Waters and a 59 percent shooting day as a team, LSU basketball pulled off the unlikely victory, defeating Michigan 77-75 in the first round of the Maui Invitational Monday evening. With the win, LSU improves to 3-0 on the season and advances to face No. 13 Notre Dame Tuesday in the Maui Invitational semifinals.
After leading for a majority of the first half, the Tigers trailed for a significant chunk of the second half, losing by as many as 9 points with 5:11 remaining in the game. LSU ended the game on an 18-7 run, preventing the Wolverines from scoring a field goal in the final 3:16 of the game. As a whole, Michigan shot 46 percent from the field and 26 percent from 3-point range.
Waters was excellent, posting 20+ points for the second time in three games. The freshman point guard shot 7-of-13 from the field, including a 3-for-5 night from the 3-point line. Nine of Waters’ points, as well as an assist and a steal, came in the final five minutes of the game.
But Waters wasn’t the only player producing for LSU. Senior forwards Duop Reath and Aaron Epps combined to score 27 points with 9 rebounds, junior guard Brandon Sampson also finished in double figures with 10 points and freshman guard Brandon Rachal tied with Waters for the team lead in assists with 4.
What’s next for LSU basketball?
LSU advances to the semifinal round of the Maui Invitational Tuesday with a matchup against No. 13 Notre Dame. The game is scheduled to begin at 9 p.m. CT and will be broadcast on ESPN. The winner of that game advances to the Maui Invitational championship game versus the winner of the Tuesday game between Marquette and No. 6 Wichita State.