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LSU head coach Will Wade coaches against Ohio, Wednesday, December 1, 2021, at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center on the campus of LSU in Baton Rouge, La.

As the final 10 minutes of Wednesday night’s game against Ohio University were winding down, Will Wade couldn’t wait to hear the final buzzer.

Sure, the LSU basketball team — which scored the first 14 points of the game and led by as many as 18 in the first half — was on its way to remaining undefeated through eight games.

But that’s not what Wade was thinking about.

Letting a huge lead evaporate over an 11-minute span until the Tigers and Bobcats were tied at 37-all with 14:06 left ensured there would be no celebrating in the locker room.

An 8-2 spurt over the next four minutes helped LSU right the ship, and winning the six-minute game he constantly stresses must have made Wade feel a little better. Right?

Well, not quite.

“You couldn’t hear me from the locker room?” the irritated coach asked reporters after a 66-51 victory.

At that very moment, LSU was one of just 14 remaining unbeaten teams in Division I basketball (it's 13 now).

Yet, Wade was breathing fire because he knew his Tigers were an imperfect, perfect team with its next game 10 days away because of final exams.

“We just had to get through the game,” he said. “I just needed to get to the 10-day break.

"Basically, we’ve had some slippage in some areas. It hasn’t been noticeable because we’re winning and all that sort of stuff.”

Because of that, he hinted at what was to come Saturday after giving the players Thursday and Friday off to study and prepare for finals.

The team will also practice in the coming week early each morning and between tests, likely extensively, before its next game with Georgia Tech in Atlanta on Dec. 11.

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“I needed to get to this break to reset everything,” Wade said. “We’re going to have a hell of a reset on Saturday.”

Forward Darius Days certainly knew what was to come in their return to the practice floor.

“Next time we have a (postgame) interview, it’s going to be very, very interesting,” he said. “We might look a little slimmer than we look right now.”

Wade made it clear he was disenchanted with the offense, not the defense, after LSU held its opponent under 60 points for the sixth time in eight games.

As of Saturday morning, the Tigers ranked in the top 10 out of 350 Division I teams in four key defensive categories.

They were second in field-goal defense (33.1%), third in scoring defense (53.8 per game) and steals (12.5), and 10th in turnovers forced (19.4).

But the offense, which was piling up impressive numbers as well in the first five games, has sputtered for much of the last three games.

Wade’s team is 119th in offensive rebounds with 11.4 per game after getting just four against Ohio and 230th in turnovers with 14.5 per game after giving it away 17 times in each of its last two outings.

“Our defense was really solid; we did a nice job defensively,” Wade said. “We got a lot of work to do on offense.”

His main areas of concern: field-goal attempts, turnovers and offensive rebounds.

First and foremost were the 49 field-goal attempts LSU got up while Ohio had 68. It's a good thing the Bobcats had just 18 makes for 26.5%.

The shockingly low number of attempts for Wade’s uptempo offense were a result of 17 turnovers and getting just four offensive rebounds on its 26 misses.

“We have to work on our ball movement, the ball sticks,” he said. “We’re just so poor on offense. It’s my fault. … I got to coach them better, I got to help us out.”

Email Sheldon Mickles at smickles@theadvocate.com