BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Being a ranked team for the first time in three seasons certainly didn’t faze LSU in its season-opener Tuesday.
Six players scored in double figures as the No. 23-ranked Tigers lived up to that billing by cruising past Southeastern Louisiana 94-63.
The Tigers’ four freshmen all scored at least 10 points. Naz Reid was LSU’s leading scorer with 17 points. Emmitt Williams had a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Darius Days had 11 points and Ja’vonte Smart added 10 points.
The other two double-figure scorers for LSU were Marlon Taylor with 15 points and Skylar Mays with 11 points.
“In the first half, we played very, very well,” LSU coach Will Wade said. “I wish we would have shared the ball a little bit better on offense and I wish we would have dove on a couple of loose balls. But, overall I thought we played well.”
Freshman Parker Edwards did all he could for the Lions, scoring 25 straight points in the second half. Moses Greenwood had 12 points for Southeastern Louisiana before fouling out.
LSU took control of the game in the opening four-plus minutes. Southeastern Louisiana did not score until Greenwood made a field goal with 15:35 remaining in the first half. By that time, the Tigers had opened up a 10-0 lead.
“I thought Southeastern had a tough time seeing the basket against us early in the game,” Wade said. “We did a good job defensively. We made sure their guys didn’t get off and get going. I was proud of our effort on the glass. We had some defensive lapses in the second half that we need to clean up.”
The back-breaking run for the Lions came during the middle of the first half. LSU scored 12 consecutive points to grab a 29-11 lead with 7:51 before halftime. Williams scored eight of those 12 points. The Tigers built a 30-point advantage at 48-18 by the end of the first half.
“LSU is big and strong,” Southeastern Louisiana coach Jay Ladner said. “It’s an impressive looking group. They got us back on our heels with their size and quickness. I was disappointed in our lack of competitiveness and that we didn’t play better.”
Tremont Waters, who was LSU’s top scorer last season, took a secondary role in the season opener. Waters, who averaged 16 points per game as a freshman, scored just nine points against the Lions. Waters, who contributed six assists per game last season, only had two against SLU. Waters, who made five steals, did score seven of the Tigers’ first 13 points.
Southeastern Louisiana point guard Marlain Veal, a preseason All-Southland Conference team selection, had a rough night in the opener. Veal, who played despite a knee injury, finished with only one point in 26 minutes. Veal, who averaged 13 points a game last season, missed all five of his field goal attempts.
A post-game ceremony was conducted to honor the memory of LSU basketball player Wayde Sims who was shot and killed in September. Sims would have been a junior on this season’s Tigers team.
LSU: The Tigers dominated Southeastern Louisiana from the opening tip as they extended their homecourt winning streak to eight games. LSU won its season-opener for the fourth consecutive season.
Southeastern Louisiana: The Lions, who are picked to finish second in the Southland Conference, lost to LSU for the 12th time in 13 games.
LSU will play host to North Carolina-Greensboro, which won its season-opener against North Carolina A&T 74-66, on Friday.
Southeastern Louisiana will meet NAIA member William Carey in its home opener Friday.