Tigers Snap No. 18 Ole Miss' 10-Game Win Streak, 83-69
Communications Student Assistant
OXFORD, Miss. – LSU scored 52 second-half points and played one of its best halves of the season to date Tuesday night silencing a sellout crowd at The Pavilion at Ole Miss as the Tigers knocked off No. 18 Ole Miss, 83-69, to run its record to 3-0 in the Southeastern Conference.
The win snapped the Rebels 10-game winning streak and 3-0 start in the league while the Tigers won for the second straight game on the road after stopping a nine-game road losing streak last Saturday in a win at Arkansas.
The Tigers are now 13-3 on the season, while Ole Miss dropped 13-3 and 3-1 in the league. It was the second win on the road for LSU against a ranked team under Coach Will Wade and the third overall in his two years in Baton Rouge.
LSU will now attempt to validate the road wins by continuing to win at home as South Carolina and Georgia come to town in LSU’s next two games at the Maravich Center. LSU hosts the Gamecocks on Saturday at 5 p.m. CT in a game televised on the SEC Network and broadcast on the LSU Sports Radio Network affiliates. LSU and Georgia will meet on Wednesday, Jan. 23, at 6 p.m.
Tremont Waters overcame a shaky start to lead the attack with 20 points, nine assists and three steals while Kavell Bigby-Williams showed his grit after a scoreless game against Arkansas on Saturday, scoring 14 points with 10 rebounds and five blocks. Skylar Mays had 14 points and four assists and Marlon Taylor had 12 points.
Terence Davis led the Rebels with 21 points, 10 rebounds and three assists, while KJ Buffen off the bench added 13. Breein Tyree had 12.
LSU shot 58.6 percent in the second half (17-of-29) and made 5-of-9 three pointers and 13-of-20 free throws in the final 20 minutes. For the game, LSU was 27-of-57 from the field with nine treys and 20-of-30 free throws.
Ole Miss also shot well in the second half and finished the game at 40.6 (26-of-54), making eight treys (8-28) and unlike many of their recent wins only got to the foul line 17 times, making just nine.
Ole Miss out rebounded LSU 42-40, but the Tigers were able to overcome a fairly wide rebound margin in the second half to help the cause. LSU turned the ball over only three times in the second half, to finish with 13 to the Rebels 16 and more importantly, a 19-9 edge in points off turnovers.
With a frenzied atmosphere in the building to start the game, both the Tigers and the Rebels came out possibly a little nervous and hyped up as the teams struggled at times getting through their offensive sets and missing several point blank shots on both ends.
Neither teams shot over 36 percent in the opening 20 minutes as the teams missed a combined 39 shots from the field with 19 combined turnovers.
But Bigby-Williams did begin to assert himself defensively in the opening half making things difficult for the Rebels to move inside and dominate the paint. He had eight of LSU’s 31 first-half points to go with five rebounds and three blocks.
LSU came out in the second half looking like a different team.
With 17:48 left in the game, Mays, who shot three-of-seven from behind the arc, hit a triple to allow LSU to take a 38-37 lead and from there, the Tigers would not look back. Over the next four minutes, LSU would go on a 13-2 run in which five Tigers recorded points and the lead went to 48-39 with 14:14 to play.
Ole Miss would not go away quietly though. The Rebels Davis recorded 17 of his 21 points in the second half, including a mid-range jumper with 12:06 remaining to make it a six-point game, 48-42, with 13:49 left.
LSU and Ole Miss swapped buckets, but Ole Miss could never mount a run to make a comeback. The Tigers held a steady lead around 10 for much of the second half.
The best opportunity for Ole Miss came with 5:12 to go when Davis hit a three to cut the game to 66-60. Mays was fouled and missed the front end of a one-and-one and the Rebels came down looking to get the game to four or three. Davis Missed a three-pointer and Mays grabbed the rebound and on the other end found Waters for a trey that made it 69-60 with 4:14 to play that began to send Ole Miss fans to the exits.
LSU Coach Will Wade Quotes ...
"Obviously a good win for us over a very good Ole Miss team. I thought the first half was jittery, and we didn't play so well. I think the second half was our best half of basketball all year. We only turned the ball over three times in the second half after we did 10 times in the first half. When we can do that, we are pretty good."
On the second half…
"We moved the ball better on offense. The first half we were so stagnant and just taking bad shots. The second half we moved the ball, moved their defense, and made them guard us in the full court. Really I just thought our ball movement was much better."
On the game plan of forcing Ole Miss to defend in the paint…
"That was a lot of it. We did a great job. We were 20 of 30 from the line and they were 9 of 17. They have been killing people from the foul line. They were outscoring teams 61-33 in SEC play from the foul line. When you look at this, the free throw margin was 11 points, and we won by 14. That is where the margins have been for Ole Miss. Luckily we were able to flip the script tonight."
On Tremont Waters…
"It was great once he settled in. It took him a little bit of time to get used to how they were playing, but once he settled in he was great. Twenty points and nine assists. I think he had maybe one turnover in the second half. When he plays like that, we are awfully tough to beat."
On Kavell Bigby-Williams…
"He was phenomenal, all over the place. He was a presence down there. That was as good of a block as you'll see (on Hinson in the first half). He was phenomenal tonight. He does what he does, 14 points, 10 rebounds, five blocks. Just a really tremendous night, really proud of him. He prepared well; he rallied. We watched a little film after the Arkansas game, and I told him it wasn't as bad as he thought. We were just about a half of a step off. Hopefully that relaxed him a little bit. He came out and played like himself tonight."
On Ole Miss' recognition…
"I think Ole Miss deserves it. Coach Davis has done a phenomenal job."
On LSU's recognition…
"We certainly had a lot of hype going into the season. Then we stubbed our toe in Orlando. That's life. People forget about you. We have to earn our way back in. That is not the objective, to be in the top 25. We just have to keep getting better. That is really the objective."
Ole Miss Coach Kermit Davis, Jr.
"I'd like to start off by just thanking the fans. What a fantastic atmosphere, they tried all game. They tried harder than we did. We sure appreciate the sellout at this time. It was fantastic, so thanks to everybody that came. The game was won at half. We just had no ball movement offensively, didn't trust the offense in the first half. The ball never really got off the ground, didn't seem like we were dribbling for shots. We couldn't do anything, (Kavell) Bigby-Williams just the game around the rim. We couldn't get anything off at the rim most of the time, and (Tremont) Waters was just terrific. He played like the best point guard in the SEC and college basketball. He just dominated the game from a defensive standpoint. Give LSU credit. I thought our guys continued to try. I think you guys can tell, Devontae Shuler is hobbled. He's been fighting a foot deal, so we're going to evaluate him and see. We don't have much margin for error with two or three of those guys so we'll see how he feels tomorrow. It was just one of those games. We've got to let it go, have a short memory and get ready for Arkansas.
On poor free throw shooting…
"I'd like to tell you it was something fundamentally, but it was early we couldn't make free throws, early in that game. We ended the half in such a bad way offensively. Then the second half we had defensive mistakes and live ball turnovers. Points in the paint for them and points off turnovers were the key to that game.
On lack of ball movement…
"I tried taking guys out, left Terence Davis out for the end of the first half and Breein (Tyree). TD (Terence Davis) competed, defensively got 10 rebounds, but Breein (Tyree) gets two rebounds, six turnovers, and didn't really make a lot of toughness plays. I just thought LSU made most of those toughness plays, 50/50 balls.
On LSU's length…
"They're athletic now, and that's the hardest I've seen LSU guard by far. I've watched five games, it's not even close. That's the hardest they've played, and the hardest they've guarded. Their team just had a purpose, and we just got intimidated around the rim. The shots we missed, we were intimidated from Dom (Dominik Olejniczak), Bruce (Stevens), different players. TD (Terence Davis) was the only one who finished a few balls, and KJ (Buffen) did a nice job too.
On size in the post…
"Mississippi State's athletic, Auburn's maybe leading our league in blocked shots. We were just soft around the rim, Dom (Dominik Olejniczak) had seven (points) and five (rebounds) but just got intimidated, Bruce (Stevens) wasn't very good around the rim, and that's just going to happen. But we have to do a better job playing on two feet, trying to get to the line and make free throws."
On LSU transition game…
"A couple times they beat us in transition defense. A lot of times it was live ball turnovers, 50/50 plays, like the play No. 11 (Bigby-Williams) beat Blake (Hinson) on the sideline and dunked it. Tremont Waters dove on it, and threw it back. Those are the kind of plays when the game was in the balance. It was just about a three-minute stretch in the second half the game got away, and then it kind of stayed the rest of the way. That three or four minutes it went from two to nine (deficit), and we could never get it back under six."
On Tremont Waters play
"He leads our league, maybe first or second, in steals, so he's a really good defensive player. Point guard, he can stay in the paint and make others better, nine assists. He can make some tough shots; he made some tough dribble shots. It was no offense, just him off the dribble. He made that deep three when the game was at six (margin)."