Point guard Tremont Waters scored 15 points and dished out five assists, and LSU used balanced scoring and tight defense to defeat Grambling 78-57 Saturday night in Baton Rouge, La.
Waters continued his shaky ball-handling, committing a game-high six turnovers, but he compensated for that with three steals and helped LSU (6-2) hold Grambling (3-4) to 39.2 percent shooting for the game. LSU dominated Grambling on the boards, 45-24, and Kavell Bigby-Williams was dominant on interior defense with a career-high nine blocks.
The Tigers had five other players with at least nine points: Darius Days (13), Skylar Mays (10), Ja’vonte Smart (9), Marlon Taylor (9) and Bigby-Williams (9).
LSU took a 35-25 lead at halftime, holding Grambling to 37 percent shooting (10 of 27) and forcing Grambling to miss six of its last seven shots of the half.
Coming off consecutive losses, LSU coach Will Wade emphasized to his players throwing the ball into the post on offense, and the Tigers did that without getting the full benefit of the strategy because of chilly shooting.
Naz Reid, a 6-foot-10 freshman forward, had been prone to shooting too many 3-pointers in the first seven games, so he worked almost exclusively in the paint against Grambling. He struggled in the first half, however, going 1 of 7 from the field.
Waters had eight points in the first half, but he continued to struggle with three first-half turnovers. LSU committed 10 turnovers in the first half. The Tigers had four other players with five points each in the first half: Taylor, Smart, Bigby-Williams and Days.
LSU made six of its first eight shots to take a 14-2 lead, but Grambling used a 7-0 run to cut the deficit to 14-9. Smart’s 3-pointer gave LSU a 31-21 lead with three minutes left in the half.
The Tigers broke open the game by outscoring Grambling 13-5 in the first six minutes of the second half.
Grambling was led by Anthony Gaston off bench with 12 points.
LSU will take the next week off before returning to action on Sunday against Incarnate Word.
—Field Level Media