It’s safe to say that many of the players on LSU’s (26-5, 16-2 SEC) roster weren’t prepared for everything that’s happened in the last few months. One of their own in Wayde Sims killed before the season starts, the reports about head coach Will Wade which led to his indefinite suspension on Friday, and then just hours before tip in the season finale against the Vanderbilt Commodores (9-22, 0-18) Javonte Smart was held out.
With everything this team has had to deal with, it should come as no surprise that they were able to come away with an 80-59 win despite all of the things going on away from the basketball court.
How It Happened:
The beginning of Saturday night’s matchup was a power struggle with neither team really gaining an edge. After the first media timeout though, LSU showed why they’re one of the best teams in the conference, going on a 13-3 run to establish a 13-point lead with 9:59 in the first half. The Commodores chipped away at the lead, but any sustained run didn’t last long and the Tigers carried a 43-28 lead into the locker room at halftime.
The second half was all LSU, going up by as much as 30 points with 5:26 left in regulation after a successful three-point play from Tremont Waters. After the final media timeout, it was merely a formality before the Tigers started cutting down the nets in celebration of winning the SEC title outright.
Big Number: 27
With two of their top players out for different reasons, the bench needed to step if they wanted to clinch an outright SEC title for the first time in a decade. The bench did just that and then some with 27 points in the win.
Player of the Game: Darius Days
Speaking of LSU’s bench, Darius Days was an instrumental part of the win, putting up 15 points, four rebounds, and two assists on the night. The freshman really helped fill the void left by stars like Naz Reid and Smart
Next Up: SEC Tournament Friday; Tipoff at 12 pm