Freshman forward Naz Reid scored a team-high 19 points, and guard Skylar Mays added 14 to lift LSU to an 81-69 victory over Louisiana-Monroe on Friday night in Baton Rouge, La.
LSU (10-3) recorded its 19th consecutive victory against in-state competition, including victories this season over Southeastern Louisiana, Louisiana Tech Grambling and UL-Monroe. It was also the Tigers’ 15th consecutive home victory dating back to last season.
After coming off the Tigers’ bench for three consecutive games, point guard Tremont Waters started and contributed 11 points, 10 assists and eight steals. LSU, which shot 52.5 percent from the floor, also got 12 points from Emmitt Williams and 10 from Ja’vonte Smart.
Louisiana-Monroe (7-5) was led by guard Daishon Smith with a game-high 22 points and guard Michael Ertel with 21. The Warhawks ranked ninth in the nation in 3-point field-goal accuracy coming in (40.6 percent) but finished 9 of 24 from long range (37.5 percent).
Louisiana-Monroe closed within four points in the second half, but LSU produced a 22-9 run to put the game away.
LSU used 52 percent shooting to take a 42-33 halftime lead. Mays and Reid led the Tigers with 10 points each, but the Warhawks remained in touch by outrebounding the taller Tigers 22-15 in the half.
Louisiana-Monroe went on an early 9-0 run to take a 14-11 lead, but LSU closed the half on a 31-19 run to take control.
The Tigers, who beat then-No. 24 Furman 75-57 last week, now enter their 18-game SEC schedule Jan. 8 by hosting Alabama. LSU was 9-3 in its nonconference schedule last year, so the Tigers’ 10-3 record this year represents a half-game improvement.
UL-Monroe opens Sun Belt Conference play Thursday against Little Rock.
—Field Level Media