Freshman Thomas continues strong play, LSU tops SE Louisiana

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Freshman Cameron Thomas scored 21 points for his third 20-plus game, Trendon Watford had 20 points and nine rebounds, and LSU eased past Southeastern Louisiana 96-43 on Monday night in the Tigers home opener.

Thomas, named the SEC freshman of the week, opened the game with a 3-pointer to start a 21-6 run through the opening 10 minutes. He finished the game 4 of 8 from the 3-point line and 9 of 10 at the free-throw line. Last week, Thomas scored 27 points against SIUE and 25 versus Saint Louis, hitting 10 field goals and four three-pointers in each game.

LSU led 50-18 at halftime after shooting 53%, while holding SE Louisiana to 17%.

Mwani Wilkinson added 12 points and six rebounds for LSU (2-1), which is scheduled to host Louisiana Tech on Sunday. Darius Days had 11 points and seven rebounds, and Ja’Vonte Smart scored 10 points with five assists.

The Tigers shot 50% from the field, outrebounded the Lions 53-33 and had a 32-14 advantage for points in the paint. SE Louisiana made just 13 of 59 shots.

Shaquille O’Neal was in attendance to watch his son Shareef O’Neal, who scored five points — including a 3-pointer with 2:31 remaining for a 54-point lead. He also grabbed nine rebounds in 18 minutes.

Keon Clergeot scored 17 points and Joe Kasperzyk added 13 for SE Louisiana (0-3).

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