Auburn LSU Basketball

Freshman guard Sharife Cooper led Auburn with 26 points and six turnovers against LSU on Saturday. [HILARY SCHEINUK/THE ADVOCATE]

BATON ROUGE, La. — Cameron Thomas, the reigning Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Week, scored 27 points, and LSU pasted Auburn 104-80 on Saturday.

Thomas leads all Division I freshmen with 15 20-point games this season.

Thomas was 7-of-16 shooting with three 3-pointers and made 10 of 11 free throws to lead five LSU 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 LSU (14-6, 9-4 SEC) scored against an SEC opponent since 1994. LSU has won three in a row and is 10-2 at home this season.

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

“I’m disappointed,” Auburn coach Bruce Pearl said. “I thought we had a great game plan. I thought we had a good week of preparation. I thought we were excited about playing. We just didn’t have that edge. That’s a problem. As a result, we got whooped.”

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,” 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.

“I just don’t think they are that much better than our players, but they played (like) it,” Pearl said. “That’s why I’m disappointed. I was surprised that we weren’t locked in. We got beat one-on-one. They beat us at every position.”

LSU shot 53%, canning 11 3-pointers and outrebounding Auburn 47-39.

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

“It’s a matter of pride,” Pearl said. “Our team has gotten better throughout the season, but these other teams have gotten better, too. These teams are playing with an edge, playing to get ready for postseason.

“Our big guys are young and not physical enough. We don’t have enough physicality and toughness and it really showed tonight. I think we’re better than this. That was my message.”

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