LSU Hits The Road For Saturday Basketball Tilt At Auburn's Neville Arena
BATON ROUGE – The LSU Tigers try to extend their success on the basketball floor on Saturday, but they will have to contend with one of the toughest home-court environments in the Southeastern Conference when they travel to No. 16 Auburn and a sold-out Neville Arena.
Game time is set for just after 5 p.m. on the affiliates of the LSU Sports Radio Network with Chris Blair and John Brady (Guaranty Media flagship in BR Eagle 98.1 FM) and televised on the SEC Network with Mike Morgan and Mark Wise.
The Tigers have started 2-0 in the league and are 10-5 overall after a road win at Texas A&M (68-53) and a home win on Tuesday night against Vanderbilt (77-69).
“(We are) really excited with the guys’ performance to come away with the win Tuesday night against Vanderbilt,” said LSU Coach Matt McMahon. “Wednesday was an off day for us and then we quickly turned the page to this great opportunity (Saturday) night at Auburn. We’ve studied them for several days now and still can’t find any weaknesses, one of the top 10 offenses and defenses in the country. It’s going to be a great environment and we’re looking forward to the challenge tomorrow night.”
The Tigers are 4-1 in the last five games and have shown a new efficiency in ball movement, assist-to-turnover numbers and defensive toughness around the three-point arc. LSU held Vanderbilt to just 25 percent from distance in the game and LSU also came through in drawing fouls and making free throws, hitting 87 percent (20-of-23).
Jalen Cook led LSU with 10 field goals and 28 points, two off his career high. Jordan Wright stretched his double figure scoring streak to 12 games with a 15-point night and Mike Williams III had 10 points and a team high eight rebounds.
Coach McMahon was asked about Williams, who as a freshman, handled the primary point guard role through the first 10 games of the season. He returned to the starting lineup with Cook on Tuesday against Vanderbilt.
“My favorite thing about Mike is he’s very coachable; he’s a winner, just wants to do whatever he can to help his team,” said the LSU Coach. “Because he has that foundation in place, it allows him to keep improving and keep getting better every day. He’s just a basketball player. The last game was a big game for him, he’s put up some numbers, but that was the first time in SEC play — 10 points, 8 rebounds, 2 steals and no turnovers. I just think he keeps getting better every day and that’s a credit to him and how he works and how he listens, he wants to be coached which is a great trait to have as a player.”
Auburn, ranked No. 16 in both polls, is having another strong campaign under Bruce Pearl, with a 13-2 record and wins over Arkansas on the road and A&M at home (66-55). Jaylin Williams led Auburn with 22 points, hitting 8-of-10 field goals with a team best eight boards. K. D. Johnson had 14 points and Johni Broome 10.
Broome averages 15.3 points this season to lead Auburn while Williams is at 12.1 a game.
After Saturday’s game, the Tigers will return home for two important SEC games starting on Wednesday, Jan. 17 at 6 p.m. against Ole Miss and then Saturday, Jan. 20, versus Texas A&M. Tickets for both games are available at LSUTix.net.