Tigers and Texas Tech Meet Saturday In Final Year of SEC/Big 12 Challenge
BATON ROUGE – The LSU Tigers will be trying to help the SEC early in Saturday’s SEC/Big 12 Challenge when they host Texas Tech at 1 p.m. in the final SEC/Big 12 Challenge at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.
The game is one of 10 matchups of the SEC and the Big 12 as the 10-year series comes to an end with this year’s renewal.
Tickets are available online at LSUTix.net and at the upper concourse ticket windows beginning one hour prior to tipoff. LSU students are admitted with a valid ID and the first 1,000 students will get a Dunking Tiger shirt.
The Tigers and the Red Raiders contest will be available on the affiliates of the LSU Sports Radio Network with the Voice of the Tigers, Chris Blair, and former LSU head coach John Brady (Guaranty Media flagship Eagle 98.1 FM in BR) and televised on ESPNU with Mark Neely and Daymeon Fishback.
The Tigers are 12-8 overall, while Texas Tech is 10-10.
The teams have played eight times previous with the Red Raiders leading the series, 5-3. Texas Tech won three games in the beginning of the series and the last two meetings, while LSU won three consecutive games in the middle of the eight games played.
The Red Raiders defeated LSU in 2017 and 2021 in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge with LSU wins coming in 1960, 2013 and 2014.
The Challenge wins were by scores of 77-64 in Lubbock in 2017 and 76-71 in 2021 in Baton Rouge.
LSU is 2-4 in six previous Challenges with the Tigers defeating No. 16 West Virginia, 74-73, in Morgantown, in 2014 and Texas in Austin, 69-67, in 2020.
The SEC has won each of the past two years and three all together (2018, 2020, 2021) and the LSU-Texas Tech game is part of a trio of games in the 1 p.m. CT slot. Auburn and West Virginia leads the day at 11 a.m. and there are two games each scheduled for the 3 p.m., 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. start times.
“We are really looking forward to Saturday,” said LSU Coach Matt McMahon. “It is the first opportunity to be a part of the SEC/Big 12 Challenge. I know our players are looking forward to it … Obviously, stating facts, we are not excited about where we are at or how we have played this month, but we are excited about the chance to get better and improve in those areas as we head into Saturday afternoon’s game.”
Texas Tech is coming off a 76-61 loss to West Virginia in Lubbock with Kevin Obanor leading Texas Tech with 20 points, hitting 7-of-13 from the field with a trey and 5-of-5 at the free throw line. De’Vion Harmon was also in double figures with 14 points. Obanor averages 15.0 points per game to lead the Red Raiders with Harmon at 12.2 points a game.
“I think they (Texas Tech) are relentless in their pressure on the defensive end of the floor,” said McMahon. “I think they play a little bit different style of defense from what we have seen here in the last month. They really try to influence you to the baseline and do a great job in their help defense. They swarm the basketball and force a lot of turnovers that gets them out in transition where they are able to convert. As we all know, we have not gotten it corrected as quickly as we would like, but turnovers have been a major issue for us in our last five, six games and so that’s going to be incredibly important on Saturday, ball security. Offensive end of the floor, they are a really good rebounding team, physical and have great size in their front court. We know we will have to do a good job protecting the painted area.”
Coach McMahon also announced that guard juice Hill, who stepped away from the team last week for personal reason, has returned to practice on Thursday and was expected to dress for Saturday’s contest.
LSU is led by its 2,000 points-1,000 rebounds super senior KJ Williams, who last Saturday became the 122nd player in college basketball and the eighth in SEC history to get 2,000 and 1,000 in a career. He will be honored prior to the starting lineups Saturday. He is averaging 17.4 points and 7.3 rebounds a game.