BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) – Duop Reath scored 26 points, Skylar Mays added 17 points and LSU beat reeling Mississippi 82-66 on Saturday.
Aaron Epps had 11 points and nine rebounds and two blocks, and Tremont Waters added 11 points and eight assists for the Tigers (14-10, 5-7 Southeastern Conference).
Bruce Stevens and Deandre Burnett each scored 16 and Breein Tyree scored 10 for Ole Miss (11-14, 4-8), which has lost five straight and eight of nine.
After squandering a lead as large as 14 in the first half, the Tigers led by 10 or more for the final 12 minutes and by as many as 20 points twice in the final seven minutes.
Epps’ soaring right-hand dunk over Tyree began a 15-4 run that restored LSU’s double-digit lead in the second half. Mays’ fast-break layup as he was fouled made it 57-46. Wayde Sims added a put-back and Mays converted a steal into a breakaway dunk to give LSU a 15-point lead at 61-46.
The game was never close after that.
Epps got above the rim several times, also dunking for the first two baskets of the game as LSU raced to an 8-0 lead.
Reath’s jumper was part of that initial run and the beginning of a productive first half for him. Hitting seven of his first eight shots, Reath scored 16 points in the game’s first 13 minutes, capped by a 3-pointer that gave the Tigers a 27-16 lead.
LSU’s first-half lead grew as large as 14 points on Mays’ free throw with six minutes left in the half, but Ole Miss wasn’t ready to fold yet.
Justas Furmanavicius’ 3 marked the start or a 20-3 Rebels run. Brunett also hit a 3 during the run and Furmanavicius’ jumper gave Mississippi its first lead at 35-34 with 1:27 to go in the half.
After Terence Davis’ jumper put Ole Miss up by three, Waters hit a straight-on 3 to tie it at 37 heading into halftime.
Mississippi: The struggling Rebels had some encouraging spurts but were not consistent enough to win on the road against an LSU team that can score a lot of points. As their deficit grew in the second half, they tried to get back into the game from long range, which only made matters worse. Ole Miss finished 6 of 29 from 3-point range, and was outscored 44-22 in the paint.
LSU: LSU shot at least 50 percent for the ninth time this season, helped in large part by Reath, who was 10 of 12 from field and made his only 3-point attempt. He also was 5 of 6 on free throws. Mays and Epps each went 5 for 9 from the field. The Pete Maravich Assembly Center crowd was grumbling late in the first half, when LSU briefly fell behind. But the Tigers controlled the final 20 minutes to win for the second time in three games as they try to build some momentum in the final weeks of the regular season.
Mississippi: Hosts Arkansas on Tuesday night.
LSU: Visit Alabama on Tuesday night.