As sophomore guard Tremont Waters goes, the team goes with him.
Or, at least that's how it was last season.
In the 2017-18 season, LSU (17-3, 7-0 SEC) had to rely heavily on Waters to carry the offensive workload.
In conference games where Waters scored fewer than 20 points, the Tigers were 4-9. This season, the Tigers are 4-0 when he scores 20 or fewer.
But in the Tigers' game tonight against the Texas A&M Aggies (8-11, 1-6 SEC), Waters had to revert to his scoring ways from last season to lead his team to a seventh straight Southeastern Conference victory.
LSU never put the game out of reach until the tail-end of the second half, with their biggest lead being 15 in the final two minutes. The Aggies only held the lead in the game for 23 seconds, and were completely outmatched across the floor.
Waters scored half of the Tigers' total points at 36, on 11-of-18 shooting, and going 6-10 on three-pointers. In the first half, Waters had 23 of LSU’s 37 points, and was the only Tiger to make a three-pointer.
Waters was the only player in double-figures, but the trio of freshman forward Naz Reid, senior forward Kavell Bigby-Williams and freshman guard Marlon Taylor added seven points each. Bigby-Williams also added 11 rebounds and three blocks.
Sophomore guard T.J. Starks led the Aggies in scoring with 21 points, along with five rebounds and three assists. Junior forward Josh Nebo got his second double-double of the season with 16 points and 11 rebounds.
The first half was all Waters for LSU and all Starks for the Aggies. The two went one-on-one several times throughout the half, with Waters getting the best of him the majority of the time, but Starks was able to get 15 of his 21 points on 5-8 shooting. The duo of Starks and Nebo combined for 27 of the Aggies' 36 points.
The game stayed close throughout the first half, as LSU settled for 18 three-pointers, and got nearly all of their points in the paint off of offensive rebounds. Freshman guard Darius Days grabbed six offensive boards and scored six points on put-backs following the rebounds.
Starks and Nebo kept Texas A&M in the game, and the Tigers only held a one-point, 37-36 advantage going into halftime.
The second half, however, was a different story. LSU started the half with a 14-4 run, playing good defense and not settling for treys like they did in the first. Reid scored all of his seven points in the first five minutes of the second half, and helped build a double digit lead that the Aggies couldn’t cut into.
LSU will travel back home to the Pete Maravich Assembly Center to try for the season sweep of the Arkansas Razorbacks on Feb. 2, with a 5 p.m. tip.