BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Both Emmitt Williams and Darius Days registered double-doubles to lead LSU to a 90-54 non-conference victory against New Orleans on Tuesday.
Williams finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds for his second double-double of the season for the Tigers (6-2). Days recorded his fourth double-double of the year with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Williams and Days were a combined 13-of-20 shooting from the field.
Trendon Watford scored a season-high 18 points for LSU. Charles Manning Jr. finished with 13 points, while Javonte Smart added 12 points and eight assists.
“We did a good job establishing ourselves in the paint scoring 52 points,” LSU coach Will Wade said. “I was really pleased with Javonte. He’s just settled in as a point guard. It just takes time. We’ve always had confidence in Javonte and he certainly played very good.”
Bryson Robinson was the leading scorer for UNO (3-5) with 18 points. Jaylen Key had 13 points and Troy Green had 10 for the Privateers, who failed to hit 60 points for the third time this season.
LSU struggled for most of the first half. During a nine-minute span, Williams was the only player to score for the Tigers. A field goal by Ehren Freeman gave UNO its biggest lead of the first half at 26-20.
Over the final six minutes of the opening half, LSU outscored the Privateers 18-4. Four Tigers – Skylar Mays, Manning, Watford and Williams – were each responsible for four points during this stretch. A field goal by Williams in the final minute put LSU ahead 38-30 at halftime.
“It was a slow start,” Williams said. “As you can see, basketball is a game of runs. We started off kind of slow, but as you see we sped up.”
New Orleans came no closer than seven points after halftime. With their lead at 42-35, the Tigers went on a 16-5 run. Smart and Manning had three-point plays during that span. LSU scored 20 consecutive points later in the second half to go ahead 83-48.
“Early on in the second half, our execution was good,” New Orleans coach Mark Slessinger said. “As the half went on, our execution waned. We didn’t do the things we were supposed to do. LSU is a good basketball team.”
LSU: The Tigers extended their home nonconference winning streak to 14 games. LSU has won five home games this season – all by a margin of at least nine points.
New Orleans: The Privateers remain winless against Division I opponents. UNO has been beaten on the road by Butler, SMU, Mississippi State, Hawaii and LSU by an average of 21.2 points.
STAR OF THE GAME
For the first time this season, LSU freshman Trendon Watford was not in the starting lineup. He responded with a season-high 18 points and six rebounds in 27 minutes. Watford was 6 of 12 from the field, including 2 of 4 on 3-pointers. He also contributed three assists and season-highs in steals with two and blocked shots with two. Watford has scored in double figures in seven of the first eight games.
STAT OF THE NIGHT
LSU’s defense smothered New Orleans for most of the game. The Privateers scored 26 points during the first 14 minutes. Over the next 26 minutes, the Tigers limited UNO to 28 points. The Privateers shot only 37 percent from the field (23 of 63). LSU did not permit its opponent to make 40 percent of its field-goal attempts for the fourth time in eight games. New Orleans committed 15 turnovers. Skylar Mays had four steals and Charles Manning blocked three shots.
LSU: The Tigers will play host to a second straight Southland Conference opponent when it meets Northwestern State on Sunday.
New Orleans: The Privateers will take a break for semester exams before playing host to Williams Baptist College on Dec. 14.
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