Waters scores 26 as No. 25 LSU runs past Georgia, 92-82

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BATON ROUGE – The 25th-ranked LSU men’s basketball team used its offensive firepower to outscore Georgia and score an 18th consecutive win in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center, 92-82, over the Bulldogs Wednesday night.

The Tigers are now 15-3 overall and 5-0 in the SEC, the first time the Tigers are 5-0 in the league since 2006. Georgia falls to 9-9 and 1-5 in the league.

LSU won its 18th consecutive game on the anniversary of the first win in the streak a year ago and the streak is now tied for second in the 48-year history of the building. The Tigers also won 18 games in a row over the 1983-84 and 1984-85 seasons and in the 1989-90 and 1990-91 seasons. The building record is 23 consecutive wins during the 1980-81 and 1981-82 seasons.

The Tigers won its eighth consecutive game overall on a night when both teams were shooting well from the field and each had 44 points in the paint as the Tigers defense faltered them at times in the contest.

Tremont Waters led LSU with 26 points, hitting 9-of-14 field goals, one trey and 7-of-11 at the free throw line. Waters had four assists and four steals and more importantly, no turnovers.

Skylar Mays posted 20 points (5-of-9, two treys and 8-8 free throws) with Naz Reid making 7-of-11 from the field and getting 15 points with Ja’vonte Smart adding 10.

Rayshaun Hammonds led UGA with 18 points, while Nicolas Claxton added 15, Derek Ogbeide 14 and Jordan Harris 10.

Georgia shot 53.6 percent from the floor for the game (30-of-56) and 8-of-17 from the arc to go with 14-of-18 at the free throw line. LSU was outshot but shot 50 percent in both halves to finish at 33-of-66 overall but just 5-of-20 from the arc. LSU was 21-of-29 for the game at the line, 14-of-17 in the second half.

LSU outrebounded the Bulldogs, 32-31 and only committed eight turnovers, the fewest since the seven in the November Louisiana Tech game. Georgia committed 17 miscues and the Tigers had a 17-7 advantage in points off turnovers.

The Bulldogs led by as much as six in the first five minutes of the game, before LSU, down 13-8, went on a 14-0 run that took the LSU lead to 22-13. Waters started the scoring with a layup, then Waters and Smart hit three-pointers to put LSU ahead for good at 16-13.

Marlon Taylor made two free throws and Smart hit a jumper to make it 20-13 and when Derek Ogbeide’s shot was blocked by Kavell Bigby-Williams, Taylor got the rebound and ended up with a dunk on the other end off a Waters pass to make the lead nine with 12:07 to go in the first half.

In the final minutes of the first half, the Tigers pushed the lead to double digits and led at intermission 48-36.

The lead reached as much as 17 on three different occasions, the last on a Waters layup at 69-52 with 11:35 to play.

Although the teams spent much of the rest of the game trading points, Georgia was able to get the lead down to seven on a couple of occasions with about four minutes to play, but the Tigers were able to continue to score and make free throws down the stretch to seal the game.

The Tigers are on the road for the next two starts, going to Missouri on Saturday for a 5 p.m. contest and then Texas A&M next Tuesday before returning home on Feb. 2 to host Arkansas at 5 p.m.

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