Watford, Smart lead LSU in dominant win over Ole Miss; Thomas injures ankle

LSU Men’s Basketball
LSU forward Trendon Watford (2)
LSU forward Trendon Watford (2)(Petre Thomas | Petre Thomas/ Ole Miss Athletics)
Updated: Jan. 9, 2021 at 9:41 PM CST
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OXFORD, Miss. (WAFB) - The LSU men’s basketball team was without Cam Thomas, the leading scorer in the SEC, for most of the game but Trendon Watford and Javonte Smart picked up the slack and led the Tigers to a win over Ole Miss.

The Tigers (8-2, 3-1 SEC) dominated most of the game in a 75-61 victory over the Rebels (6-4, 1-2 SEC).

Thomas went down with an ankle injury after a 3-point attempt less than 2:00 into the contest. He returned briefly but left the game for good not long after. He only played about 4:00 minutes. According to head coach Will Wade, the injury doesn’t appear to be serious.

In his absence, Watford led the way with 21 points on 7-of-16 shooting from the field and 2-of-4 on 3-pointers. He was also 5-of-5 at the free throw line after shooting a dismal 3-of-10 from the charity stripe on Wednesday against Georgia. Watford also had six rebounds and three assists.

LSU point guard Javonte Smart (1)
LSU point guard Javonte Smart (1)(Petre Thomas | Petre Thomas/ Ole Miss Athletics)

Javonte Smart added 17 points and six assists. Darius Days chipped in 15 points and grabbed seven rebounds. Eric Gaines scored a career-high 10 points. He also had four steals.

Austin Crowley led Ole Miss with 10 points. He was the only Rebel to score in double figures.

LSU entered the contest leading the SEC in shooting (49%). The Tigers were just shy of that at 48.2% against Ole Miss. They were also 38.1% on 3-pointers and 81.3% on free throws.

LSU never trailed and led by as many as 22 points but got a little careless with the ball in the final minutes, allowing Ole Miss to close the gap.

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RELATED: LSU-Missouri game postponed due to COVID-19, LSU will play at Ole Miss

The Tigers will return to the PMAC to host Arkansas on Wednesday, Jan. 13 at 6 p.m. on ESPN2.

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