Reid carries LSU past UL-Monroe 81-69
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Naz Reid had 19 points and 12 rebounds as LSU defeated Louisiana-Monroe 81-69 in a nonconference game on Friday night.
Reid, who was 7-of-10 from the field, registered his first double-double of the season and his 12 rebounds were a season-high. He also had a season-best four blocked shots. Reid had not blocked more than one shot in any game this season.
“I couldn’t have done it without my teammates,” Reid said. “They set me up for the boards and gave me the ball inside. They cleared the lane for me to go in. They put me in position to score. One of our game goals was to get the bigs involved inside.”
Four other players scored in double figures for the Tigers (10-3). Skylar Mays had 14 points, while Emmitt Williams came off the bench to score 12 points. Tremont Waters had a double-double with 11 points and 10 assists. Ja’vonte Smart added 10 points.
“We got to ten wins in nonconference, which is always a good benchmark to hit,” LSU coach Will Wade said. “Naz Reid played his best game of the year. He was awesome. He’s done a really good job of getting in there and finishing in the paint in the last five games.”
Daishon Smith was the leading scorer for UL-Monroe (7-5) with 22 points. Michael Ertel matched his season-high with 21 points.
The Warhawks stayed in striking distance until the 12-minute mark of the second half. Leading 57-51, LSU went on a 10-1 run. Smart made two 3-pointers, while both Darius Days and Waters had a basket which put the Tigers on top 67-52. UL-Monroe trailed by double digits the rest of the way.
“LSU’s physical play wore us down,” UL-Monroe coach Keith Richard said. “They get some extra points because of their size. Even their guards are strong and physical. We cut the lead to six and then we had two quick turnovers. They got on the break and shot the lead back out there.”
LSU led for most of the first half, but it never could build a double-digit advantage. The Tigers took the lead for good at 23-21 on a 3-pointer by Reid with 9:30 before halftime. Holding a 37-33 lead, LSU scored the final five points of the half on a basket by Williams and a 3-pointer by Mays.
NICE RETURN TO STARTING LINEUP
After coming off the bench the past two games, point guard Tremont Waters returned to the starting lineup against UL-Monroe and nearly accumulated a triple-double. Waters scored 11 points and handed out 10 assists. He also finished with eight steals - two shy of the LSU record. The eight steals matched Waters’ career high. His 10 assists were one short of his career-best. In the two previous games against Saint Mary’s and Furman, Waters totaled 38 points and 10 assists.
NOT ENOUGH HELP
UL-Monroe received a total of 43 points from its starting backcourt - Daison Smith and Michael Ertel. Smith and Ertel were a combined 13-of-24 shooting from the field, including 6 of 11 on 3-pointers. However, no other Warhawks player scored more than six points. Travis Munnings, who was averaging 15 points per game, was held to six. Munnings, who was primarily defended by Marlon Taylor, missed 10 of his 13 field goal attempts.
FRESHMEN KEEP CONTRIBUTING
Each of LSU’s four freshmen made major contributions in the victory. Naz Reid, Emmitt Williams, Ja’vonte Smart and Darius Days combined for 50 points and 27 rebounds. Smart, who had two points in the previous two games, finished with 10. The three post players - Reid, Williams and Days - were a combined 17-of-23 shooting from the field. Williams had 12 points and eight rebounds, while Days had nine points and six rebounds.
LSU: The Tigers remained undefeated at home this season. LSU has now won 15 straight homecourt games dating back to last January.
Louisiana-Monroe: The Warhawks had their four-game winning streak snapped. UL-Monroe has lost all four of its games to power conference opponents by double digits. The Warhawks were previously beaten by Texas, Michigan State and Ole Miss - all on the road.
LSU: The Tigers will be off for 11 days before opening their Southeastern Conference schedule at home against Alabama on Jan. 8.
Louisiana-Monroe: The Warhawks will begin Sun Belt Conference play at home against Little Rock on Thursday.
More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25