By BRYAN LAZARE , Associated Press
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Tremont Waters scored a season-high 26 points and No. 25 LSU beat Georgia 92-82 on Wednesday night for its eighth straight victory.
Waters, who added four assists and four steals with no turnovers in 32 minutes, had a hand in 13 straight points by the Tigers late in the game. He scored 10 points and had an assist that led to a three-point play by Kavell Bigby-Williams as LSU extended a seven-point lead to 12 with 45 seconds to play.
Skylar Mays matched his season best for the Tigers (15-3, 5-0 Southeastern Conference) with 20 points. Naz Reid had 15 and Ja’vonte Smart added 10 for LSU.
Rayshaun Hammonds paced Georgia (9-9, 1-5) with 18 points. Nicolas Claxton had 15, Derek Ogbeide added 14 and Jordan Harris scored 10.
A 14-0 run early in the first half enabled LSU to take control. Trailing 13-8, the Tigers got two baskets, one a 3-pointer, from Waters to tie the score. Smart’s 3-pointer put LSU in front for good at 16-13.
Marlon Taylor made two foul shots and Smart knocked down a short jumper. A dunk by Taylor gave the Tigers a 22-13 lead with 12:07 left before halftime. Georgia came no closer than five the rest of the half. Mays scored 12 points in the last eight minutes as LSU took a 48-36 lead into halftime.
The Bulldogs cut their deficit to 50-44 less than two minutes into the second half. Waters and Reid made baskets to give the Tigers a double-digit lead. Georgia trailed by at least eight the remainder of the game.
LSU: The Tigers have won their first five SEC games for just the third time in the past 50 seasons. On the other two occasions, LSU won the conference championship and advanced to the Final Four. The Tigers won their first 17 conference games in 1981 and their first seven in 2006.
Georgia: The Bulldogs dropped their fourth consecutive game. All five of Georgia’s SEC defeats have been by double digits.
LSU: The Tigers begin a two-game road swing at Missouri on Saturday.
Georgia: The Bulldogs host Texas in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge on Saturday.