RECAP: Cameron Thomas fuels LSU past St. Bonaventure

Mar 20, 2021; Bloomington, Indiana, USA; Louisiana State Tigers forward Darius Days (4) celebrates with forward Trendon Watford (2) and forward Mwani Wilkinson (0) against the St. Bonaventure Bonnies during the second half in the first round of the 2021 NCAA Tournament at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall. Mandatory Credit: Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports

Cameron Thomas scored 27 points and LSU overcame a slow start to record a 76-61 win over St. Bonaventure in an East Region first round game of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday in Bloomington Ind.

Darius Days added 13 points and 11 rebounds, Aundre Hyatt had 13 and 10, and Trendon Watford had 11 and 11, respectively, for the Tigers, who had a 49-30 edge on the boards.

Eighth-seeded LSU (19-9) advanced to meet the winner between top-seeded Michigan and 16th-seeded Texas Southern on Monday.

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Jaren Holmes scored 18 points, Osun Osunniyi had 15, Jalen Adaway added 11 and Kyle Lofton 10 to lead the ninth-seeded Bonnies (16-5).

LSU scored the first seven points of the second half to grab a 38-22 lead.

Dominick Welch made St. Bonaventure’s first 3-pointer after the team missed its first 11 attempts from beyond the arc. That started a streak and three straight made 3s that helped the Bonnies get within 10 at 45-35.

They got within the halftime margin of nine before Watford answered with a three-point play.

The Tigers built the lead to 14 on two occasions midway through the half. They maintained a double-digit lead and Days’ 3-pointer put them in command with a 72-56 advantage with 3:51 left.

Both teams shot poorly to start the game, as St. Bonaventure held a 4-2 lead after nearly eight minutes.

After missing its first seven 3-pointers, LSU made three in a row to take a 15-10 lead.

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Thomas got his first basket on a layup that gave the Tigers a 19-12 lead. He added three free throws to help build the biggest lead of the half at 29-18.

Lofton made a layup for his first basket after missing his first eight shots to get St. Bonaventure within seven before Javonte Smart’s jumper gave LSU a 31-22 halftime lead. It was the fewest points scored by the Bonnies in a half this season as they missed all 10 of their 3-pointers.

–Field Level Media