Freshman forward Naz Reid, a McDonald’s All-American, scored 16 of his 29 points in the first half and point guard Tremont Waters added 21 points and 10 assists to lead No. 23 LSU to a 97-91 victory over UNC Greensboro Friday night in Baton Rouge, La.
Reid, a 6-foot-10 forward from New Jersey, was LSU’s leading scorer for the second consecutive game as the Tigers stayed perfect (2-0) on the season. UNCG’s Kyrin Galloway made eight 3-pointers, seven in the second half, to lead the Spartans with a game-high 32 points. Francis Alonso added 20.
UNCG stayed within striking distance with its perimeter shooting, going 19-of-33 from 3-point range.
LSU, which won its ninth consecutive home game, trailed 23-17 eight minutes into the game but used a 27-9 run to take a 44-32 lead and went to the locker room with a 49-36 lead. The LSU defense forced the Spartans into 4-of-13 shooting in the final eight minutes of the half. UNC Greensboro also missed four of its last five 3-pointers of the half.
UNC Greensboro (1-1) canned three 3-pointers in the first 90 seconds of the second half — one each by Isaiah Miller, Galloway and Alonso — to allow the defending Southern Conference champions to cut into the LSU lead, 52-45.
The Spartans made their first five 3-pointers of the second half to stay within striking distance, 62-53, but LSU weathered the hot perimeter shooting behind 11 points in the first five minutes of the half by Reid and Waters.
UNCG cut the deficit to 91-85 with under a minute to go, but Waters made a steal and converted a free throw to put the Tigers ahead 92-85 with 32 seconds left.
UNCG got within 93-88 on Galloway’s final 3-pointer with 16 seconds left but could not get any closer.
LSU made its first 22 free throws and finished 28-of-31 from the line. The Spartans were just 4-of-9 from the line.
LSU defeated Southeastern Louisiana 94-63 in its season opener on Tuesday, but this victory was even more impressive because UNCG won the Southern Conference regular-season and tournament titles last season and tested third-seeded Gonzaga in the NCAA Tournament before losing 68-64.
—Field Level Media