LSU Basketball Locks Up No. 3 Seed in SEC Tournament With 86-80 Win Over Missouri

Tigers get clutch buckets from Cam Thomas, Trendon Watford down the stretch in crucial regular season finale
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LSU picked up a massive road win on Saturday behind a game-high 29 points from Cam Thomas, defeating Missouri 86-80 in the regular season finale.

Thomas’ 29 led the way, but the Tigers picked up critical minutes in the second half from Trendon Watford, too, who tallied 19 and eight rebounds of his own. Watford was struggling to find his shot in the first half, but came out more aggressive in the second to put LSU over the top.

"I knew I got off slow in the first half,” Watford told the media postgame. “I came out aggressive in the second half. I live for that moment. I was trying to make that big-time play and my teammates kept me going."

From the minute the ball was tipped, Thomas had the hot hand, starting 4-for-4 from the field in the early portion of the game. He posted his most efficient outing of the season, going 9-of-13 (69.2%) from the field, with 3 rebounds as well. It was his most impressive showing to date.

"He hit some really tough shots today,” said LSU coach Will Wade on Thomas. “He's such a dynamic player. We try to give him the confidence to take those shots. He's a special, special player."

With Saturday’s victory, the Tigers have locked up the No. 3 seed in the SEC Tournament and finish the regular season 16-8 overall and 11-6 in conference. For Wade, he knows the conference tournament has been a quick trip in recent years. He wants to change that.

"Hopefully this will ignite us and get us going,” said Wade. “We have to continue this play into the SEC Tournament. I'm very aware of how poor we've been at the SEC Tournament. We take this thing seriously, we're going to be ready to go. It's a point of pride for us."

Don’t look now, but LSU is 2-0 in March, and will look to extend its winning streak and peak at the perfect time of the season.