Photo by Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
LSU Basketball

Tigers are SEC Champions!

March 9, 2019
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Six players scored in double figures as LSU cruised past Vanderbilt 80-59 to win the Southeastern Conference championship at the PMAC on Saturday night.

        

DECISIVE STRETCH OF THE GAME

Vanderbilt stayed close just for the first five minutes. A basket by Yanni Wetzell left the Commodores behind the Tigers 12-10 with 15:12 remaining in the first half. Over the next three minutes, LSU outscored Vanderbilt 14-3. Darius Days started the outburst with two 3-pointers. Marshall Graves, who received extended minutes due to the absence of Javonte Smart, knocked down two 3-pointers to put the Tigers on top 26-13 with 9:59 left in the first half. Only once during the rest of the game did LSU lead by less than ten points.

                                         

LSU PLAYER OF THE GAME

Days scored a season-high 15 points – all coming on 3-pointers. Days had not made more than three 3-pointers in a game all season. He was 5-of-6 on 3-pointers against Vanderbilt. Two 3-pointers by Days started the run in the first half which put the Tigers comfortably ahead. Days added four rebounds, two assists, one blocked shot and one steal in just 21 minutes.

 

KEY TEAM STATISTICS

Field goal shooting: LSU 51% (30-of-59), Vanderbilt 41% (21-of-51) 

Three-point field goal shooting: LSU 50% (12-of-24), Vanderbilt 43% (9-of-21)

Free throw shooting: LSU 62% (8-of-13), Vanderbilt 50% (8-of-16)

Rebounds: LSU 38, Vanderbilt 26

Offensive rebounds: LSU 13, Vanderbilt 9

Second chance points: LSU 12, Vanderbilt 9

Points in the paint: LSU 32, Vanderbilt 24

Assists: LSU 17, Vanderbilt 7

 

INDIVIDUAL LEADERS

LSU

Darius Days: 15 points

Tremont Waters: 14 points, 8 assists

Skylar Mays: 13 points

Marshall Graves: 12 points

Kavell Bigby-Williams: 10 points, 11 rebounds

Marlon Taylor: 10 points

Emmitt Williams: 6 points, 8 rebounds

VANDERBILT

Saben Lee: 16 points

Yanni Wetzell: 11 points, 5 rebounds

Clevon Brown: 5 points, 5 rebounds

Simisola Shittu: 3 points, 6 rebounds

 

NOTES

LSU’s starting lineup consisted of Bigby-Williams and Williams in the post, Mays and Taylor on the wings and Waters at point guard. Javonte Smart was held out of the game by university officials. Naz Reid did not play because of injuries he received in the game at Florida last Wednesday. Every starter except for Bigby-Williams played more than 30 minutes. . .Waters was back in the starting lineup for the first time in five games. He was 6-of-12 from the field. Waters’ eight assists were his most since he had ten against Auburn four weeks ago. . .Bigby-Williams recorded his seventh double-double against a SEC team. He was 5-of-7 from the field. . .Mays and Taylor both made 50 percent of their field goal attempts. Mays was 4-of-8, while Taylor was 3-of-6. . .Graves, the former walk-on who was given Wayde Sims’ scholarship following his death, scored a career-high 12 points. He made four of his eight 3-point shots. Graves had made eight 3-pointers in his career before Saturday’s game. . .Five of Williams’ eight rebounds came off the offensive backboard. . .LSU led 43-28 at halftime. The Tigers had as much as a 30-point lead at 70-40 with 5:26 remaining in the game. . .The Tigers players and coaches cut down the nets following the game. Smart, who sat on the bench with the team, and Reid took part in the ceremony. The mother and father of Sims also had their turn at snipping off a piece of the net. . .LSU finished the regular season with a 26-5 record. Only the Tigers’ 1981 team won more regular-season games. That team, which reached the Final Four, won 27 regular-season games. LSU ended with a 16-2 SEC record. Only the 1981 team won more conference games – going 17-1. . .The SEC title was the first for the Tigers in ten years. LSU won the outright SEC championship in 2009. The Tigers were outright champions since Tennessee lost at Auburn 84-80 on Saturday afternoon. . .Vanderbilt finished 9-22 overall, 0-18 in the SEC. The Commodores were only the second SEC basketball team not to win a league game. Georgia Tech went 0-14 in 1954. . .The paid attendance was 13,546. The actual crowd was a little more than 13,000. . .Throughout the game, the student section started numerous chants. There was ‘Fire Joe Alleva’ and ‘Free Will Wade.’ Alleva was booed heartily by the crowd when he entered the PMAC before the game. He was also booed at halftime.

 

FROM THE LOCKER ROOM

Coach Tony Benford’s comments: “I am really proud of our guys. They showed a lot of resiliency. They have been through a lot this season. They showed a lot of resolve. That’s going to happen when you have leaders like Skylar Mays and Tremont Waters. We had our best practice of the year (Friday). We just had to get the guys focused and make sure they have tunnel vision.”

  

UP NEXT

LSU will play Florida or Arkansas in the quarterfinals of the SEC tournament at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville on Friday. Tipoff is scheduled for noon Central. The Gators (17-14, 9-9) will play the Razorbacks (17-14, 8-10) on Thursday afternoon in Nashville. The LSU-Florida/Arkansas game will be available on the SEC Network.

LSU Tigers Original Retro Brand 2019 SEC Men's Basketball Regular Season Champions T-Shirt – Purple
LSU Tigers Original Retro Brand 2019 SEC Men's Basketball Regular Season Champions T-Shirt – Purple

from: Fanatics

 
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