No. 10 LSU basketball wins regular season SEC title with 80-59 victory over Vanderbilt
Tigers without head coach Will Wade, Ja’Vonte Smart, and Naz Reid
BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - No. 10 LSU clinched a regular season SEC title with a 80-59 win against Vanderbilt at the PMAC Saturday. It is the first regular season SEC title for the Tigers in 10 years.
Off-the-court distractions could have been a bigger challenge for the Tigers (26-5, 16-2) than the one on the court against the struggling Commodores (9-22, 0-18), but LSU came out amped up and the crowd was full of energy. Many fans held up “Free Will Wade” signs throughout the arena.
The Tigers had the 43-28 lead at halftime. Three-pointers and rebounding were big factors for the Tigers. They were up by as many as 30 points in the second half. Six players score in double figures.
Darius Days led the way off the bench with 15 points. Tremont Waters had 14 points, eight assists, and four steals. Skylar Mays had 13 points and four assists. Marshall Graves also came off the bench to contribute 12.
Kavell Bigby-Williams and Marlon Taylor each had 10 points. Bigby-Williams finished with a double-double, pulling down 11 rebounds.
LSU shot an incredible 50 percent from beyond the arc. The Tigers made 12-of-24 on three-pointers.
The SEC reported before the game that the Tigers had earned the No. 1 seed in the SEC Tournament. Kentucky is No. 2, Tennessee is No. 3, and South Carolina is No. 4.
With Tennessee losing to Auburn, the Tigers have clinched at least a share of the title. The Vols fell 84-80 Saturday.
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LSU announced Friday morning that head coach Will Wade had been suspended indefinitely. Yahoo Sports released a report Thursday indicating the FBI had recorded a conversation between Wade and “recruiting middleman” Christian Dawkins.
Then Saturday morning, LSU announced freshman guard Ja’Vonte Smart, at the center of that conversation, would not play against the Commodores. The statement said the move was made because of the “lack of clarity provided regarding media reports and reported wiretaps involving Head Coach Will Wade.”
Reports surfaced later in the evening that freshman forward Naz Reid would also be unavailable. According to those reports, Reid is sitting out the game due to an injury.
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