A riveting second-half performance from rookie Cam Thomas wasn’t enough for LSU to beat when the Tigers made their first game of the season to Saint Louis 85-81.
LSU was able to dominate the color behind an outstanding performance from Trendon Watford and an explosion in the second half from newcomer Cam Thomas. The Tigers received a combined 49 points from the two, with both Thomas and Watford bottoming out in the clutch and keeping the LSU close.
A turning point in the game was a four-point game by the real newcomer Thomas with an LSU of 10 points and 8:37. That sparked a spark on the Tigers ‘offensive when Thomas drilled three more to trigger a 14-5 run and cut Saint Louis’ lead to three within five minutes.
After two quick fouls in the first half, neither Thomas nor the LSU offensive could achieve a rhythm.
« It is no coincidence that our offense stalled in the first half when it is not out there, » said Wade of Thomas. « When he’s out there, you have to be accountable for what opens the lanes and just opens everything for our team. We have learned a few things and can better use it to move forward. «
Watford controlled the color while Thomas got hot from the outside after a fight in the first half. The LSU was able to control the color in the final frame and scored 26 points to get the offensive going. The team also forced 10 sales at Saint Louis in the second half, which turned into 12 points at the other end.
But while Thomas and Watford dominated at one end, the Tigers have no answer for Saint Louis security guard Javonte Perkins. The Billikens guard dropped 32 points on the Tigers, including four triples and a perfect 8-on-8 from the free-throw line to close the Tigers.
« We gave each other a chance to win in the end, we just couldn’t stop, » said Wade. « It was a good game between two high-level teams. We obviously still have work to do. «
The problems with guarding the three continued, however, when the Billikens set the Tigers on fire at 8-13 in the second half from outside the arch to keep their distance and never lose the lead. Wade said the team will be prone to giving up more threes because of the defenses they lead and that he was disappointed with the 12 layups the team gave up that afternoon.
Neither team got much going in the first 10 minutes of the game, but a glowing start from Junior Guard Javonte Smart, who lost 13 of the LSU’s first 19 points, kept the Tigers afloat.
The Billikens were able to find a little rhythm when they pushed the ball in the transition and made a 16-2 run, as the offensive of the LSU remained in the rut. This run brought a nine-point advantage that LSU would spend in the last half-half minutes cutting itself, but couldn’t find much consistency in their offensive.
The Tigers achieved good results in the transition, but the offense in front of the half-court at times looked very confusing in the first 20 minutes. Smart and Watford combined scored 23 of the team’s 28 points in the first half.
That trend would continue into the second half, but newbie Cam Thomas was starting to take off a bit. Although Thomas found no external contact, he trusted his ability to get to the edge and achieve the goal. In the second half he scored 21 of his 25 points.
The LSU will now return to Baton Rouge and do some work on their three-point defense and the remaining stock against Southeastern on Monday at 7pm in the PMAC. m.
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, Louisiana State University, Saint Louis Billikens Men’s Basketball, Cam Thomas, SIU Edwardsville Cougars Men’s Basketball, LSU Tigers and Lady Tigers, Southeastern Conference
World News – USA – Late Game Heroics by Cam Thomas, Trendon Watford Not enough as LSU falls to Saint Louis 85-81
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