Thomas scores 27 as hot-shooting LSU scorches Auburn 104-80


BATON ROUGE, La. — Cameron Thomas, the reigning Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Week, scored 27 points, his 15th 20-point game of the season, and LSU pasted Auburn 104-80 on Saturday.

Thomas leads all Division I freshmen in scoring 20-plus points in a game. Thomas was 7-of-16 shooting with three 3-pointers and made 10 of 11 free throws to lead five LSU (14-6, 9-4 SEC) players in double-figure scoring. Trendon Watford scored 18 with 11 rebounds, Darius Days scored 17, Javonte Smart 16 with six assists and Josh LeBlanc scored 12 with 10 boards.

Saturday’s 104 points were the most the Tigers have scored against an SEC opponent since 1994. LSU has won three in a row and is 10-2 at home this season.

Sharife Cooper led Auburn (11-12, 5-9) with 26 points but was dinged for six turnovers, four in the first half. Allen Flanigan scored 13 points with five assists for Auburn while JT Thor scored 10 with four blocked shots.

Each team had a midweek game postponed by treacherous travel conditions as a deadly cold front hit Southern states.

“We spent Saturday, Sunday and Monday preparing for Mississippi State, and then come to find out we’re playing LSU,” Auburn coach Bruce Pearl said prior to the game.

The sudden schedule change appeared not to affect LSU, which scored 50 in the first half for the third time this season.

Smart drained back-to-back 3s, sparking a 13-0 run for LSU and erasing a five-point Auburn lead. LSU never trailed again, building its own double-digit lead after eight minutes.

LSU pushed its lead as high as 22 points late in the first when Thomas kicked off an 8-0 run with a 3-pointer. Auburn missed three shots and had a turnover during that two-minute stretch.

LSU led by as many as 28 points in the second half on a Josh Gray dunk that capped a 10-2 run with 4:10 remaining.

LSU shot 53% for the game (39 of 73), canning 11 3-pointers and outrebounding Auburn 47-39. LSU dominated in the paint, 50-38, scored 25 points on the fast break.

Auburn returns home to face Florida on Tuesday. LSU is at Georgia on Tuesday.

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