January 16, 2019 10:28:59 AM
OXFORD -- Ole Miss freshman Blake Hinson went hard to the rim, rising up into the air to try and send home a huge one-handed dunk. The only problem was LSU's Kavell Bigby-Williams was there to deliver a crushing two-handed block that crammed the ball back toward the floor.
The Rebels hadn't lost in nearly two months. That was about to change in a hurry.
Tremont Waters scored 20 points, Bigby-Williams had 14 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks, and the LSU men's basketball team beat No. 18 Ole Miss 83-69 on Tuesday night.
The 6-foot-11 Bigby-Williams had arguably his best game of the season just a few days after one of his worst. He had no points and no rebounds in 18 minutes against Arkansas on Saturday.
"He finished everything at the rim. He was a presence down there," Will Wade said. "That's as good of a block as you'll see when he blocked Hinson."
LSU (13-3, 3-0 Southeastern Conference) used an early 8-0 run in the second half to take a 48-39 lead. The Tigers maintained a healthy advantage from that point, playing tight defense and forcing several turnovers. Bigby-Williams said he believed his early blocks helped set the tone.
"I think just my presence alone altered some shots," he said.
Waters also had nine assists, and Skylar Mays scored 14 points. LSU has won six straight.
Ole Miss (13-3, 3-1) had its 10-game winning streak snapped. The Rebels hadn't lost since Nov. 24, when they fell 71-57 to Cincinnati. Terence Davis led the Rebels with 21 points and 10 rebounds. K.J. Buffen added 13 points.
"One of those games," Ole Miss coach Kermit Davis. "We've got to let it go and have a short memory."
Neither team played particularly well in the first half, with LSU and Ole Miss both shooting 36 percent from the field. Tyree had 12 points before the break, and the teams went into halftime tied at 31.
Wade said LSU had much better ball movement in the second half, which led to the win.
"We were just way too stagnant in the first half," Wade said. "I thought the second half we moved the ball, moved their defense and made them guard us full court. We were able to get it down and finish in the paint."
LSU opened the season at No. 23 in The Associated Press' preseason poll, but three losses during non-conference play knocked it out of the rankings. The Tigers might be on their way back into the poll.
"We've got to earn our way back," Wade said. "Just like Ole Miss earned it with two top-15 wins last week."
Kermit Davis said guard Devontae Shuler has been battling a foot injury and will be evaluated Wednesday. The 6-foot-2 guard had six points in 31 minutes.
If Shuler misses any time, he would be difficult for the Rebels to replace. The team's rotation is usually only eight players deep.
"We don't have much margin for error," Davis said.