Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up
View All Scores

Thomas, Watford help LSU beat Nicholls 86-80

NCAA Basketball: Nicholls State at Louisiana State

Dec 26, 2020; Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA; LSU Tigers guard Cameron Thomas (24) brings the ball up court against Nicholls State Colonels guard Jeremiah Buford (11) in the second half at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

BATON ROUGE, La. -- Freshman Cameron Thomas had a season-high 29 points, Trendon Watford added 22 points, nine rebounds and six assists, and LSU beat Nicholls 86-80 on Saturday.

Darius Days had 15 points and eight rebounds for LSU (5-1).

Thomas hit a tiebreaking jumper to spark a 15-4 run that gave Tigers a 25-14 lead when his layup capped the spurt with 13:10 left in the first half and the Colonels trailed the rest of the way. Watford converted three-point plays 36 seconds apart and added a jumper in the run.

Damien Sears made 8 of 9 from the field and finished with 20 points, nine rebounds and two steals for Nicholls (2-4). Jeremiah Buford scored 14 points, including four 3-pointers, and Ty Gordon had 12 points.

The Colonels, who have lost four in a row, trimmed their deficit to three points on six different occasions but got no closer. Jalen Cook made two free throws to push LSU’s lead to 10 points with 1:01 to play but Najee Garvin answered with a layup and, after a turnover by Cook, Buford hit a 3 to trim Nicholl’s deficit to 85-80 with 42 seconds remaining. The Colonels went 0 for 2 from the field with a turnover thereon.

Nicholls, due to a COVID-19 protocols, played for the first time since its 73-50 loss at Saint Mary’s on Dec. 1.

LSU guard Javonte Smart, who is averaging 15.8 points on 63% shooting this season, did not play for unspecified reasons. Freshman Eric Gaines made his first start in Smart’s place, finished with one point, two assists, a block and a steal in 15 minutes of action.