LSU stays hot with victory vs. South Carolina

Cameron Thomas scored 25 points and Trendon Watford added 23 as LSU defeated South Carolina 85-80 in a Southeastern Conference game Saturday night in Baton Rouge, La.Javonte Smart added 15 points and Darius Days scored 11 for the Tigers (10-2, 5-1).Keyshawn Bryant scored 26, AJ Lawson added 22, Justin Minaya had 12 points and 10 rebounds and Wildens Leveque scored 12 for the Gamecocks (3-3, 1-1), who played without head coach Frank Martin, who tested positive for COVID-19 earlier in the week.South Carolina was playing its first game since Jan. 6 because of COVID-related postponements. It saw games against Ole Miss and Tennessee postponed because of the virus.The Gamecocks led by four points at halftime, and Leveque made their first two baskets of the second half to open a 45-36 lead.Smart scored eight points and Thomas converted a three-point play that pulled the Tigers even at 48.South Carolina scored the next seven points before Smart made two 3-pointers to help LSU take a 58-57 lead.Leveque’s basket put the Gamecocks back on top and Bryant’s jumper pushed the lead to 72-64, but the offense went cold the rest of the way.Days and Thomas made back-to-back 3-pointers, and Watford made four consecutive free throws to give the Tigers a 74-73 lead.