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Tiger Basketball Team Starts Road Week Wednesday at UGA

by Kent Lowe
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Tiger Basketball Team Starts Road Week Wednesday at UGA

BATON ROUGE – The LSU Tigers, after splitting a pair of games at home last week, head to the road for two SEC basketball games this week to conclude their January portion of the schedule.

Two 3-2 league teams will meet on Wednesday night at 5:30 p.m. CT in Stegeman Coliseum as LSU travels to Athens, Georgia to take on the Georgia Bulldogs.

The Voice of the Tigers Chris Blair and former LSU head coach John Brady will have the call on the affiliates of the LSU Sports Radio Network (Guaranty Media flagship in BR, Eagle 98.1 FM). Tom Hart and Carolyn Peck will have the call on the television broadcast on the SEC Network.

LSU is 11-7 overall and coming off a 73-69 loss to Texas A&M on Saturday, while Georgia was a 105-96 loser at Kentucky on Saturday. The Bulldogs are 13-5 on the season under second year coach Mike White.

Georgia and LSU will meet twice in the 2024 SEC season and unlike the two-week spread between meetings of LSU and Texas A&M and the upcoming LSU-Alabama meetings, there will be just over a month between Wednesday’s meeting in Athens and the return matchup in Baton Rouge (Feb. 27).

In the loss at Kentucky, Jabri Abdur-Rahim had 34 points, making 7-of-14 three-pointers, while Silas Demary Jr., scored 22 points. RJ Melendez posted 12 points. Georgia shot 31-of-62 for the game and was at 60.8 percent shooting in the second half, making 20-of-33.

For the season, Abdur Rahim is averaging 13.9 points and Noah Thomasson is at 12.1 points. Demary and Melendez each average 9.9 points a game.

Georgia had a 10-game winning streak from Dec. 1 through a win on Jan. 10 at home against Arkansas, but is 1-2 in the last three games against Tennessee, South Carolina and Kentucky. The Bulldogs are 10-1 in Stegeman Coliseum. The 10-game winning streak was UGA’s fourth longest ever and the longest since the 1947-48 season.

On his weekly radio show Monday night, LSU head coach Matt McMahon commented: “As a coach, we all want to study what their offensive and defensive schemes are, we want to know their personnel. But I think what’s really important that you’re trying to determine is: ‘Is that team connected, do they play well together, do they play hard, do they play with great energy?’ and I think Georgia checks all those boxes and that’s a big reason they have had the success they’ve had.

“The 10-game winning streak enabled them to create a great home-court environment, but I think they just play with great unselfishness offensively, they have a lot of weapons and … on the defensive end, when you can protect your rim and then when you have quick, athletic guards that can defend the three-point line, it really puts a lot of pressure on your opponents to execute on the offensive end.”

The teams split two games a season ago with the Bulldogs winning in Athens, 65-63, with a bucket with 4.2 seconds to play turning the tables before LSU able to get a first-round victory, 72-67, at the SEC Tournament in Nashville.

Jordan Wright had a tremendous week for LSU in its two games. Against Ole Miss last Wednesday, Wright had 27 points, seven rebounds, five assists and seven steals to post the third 4X5 game by a Tiger since 2015 and the first one in conference play by an LSU player since 2000. He followed that up with a 15-point, 10-rebounds, 6 assist effort in the 73-69 loss to Texas A&M on Saturday.

Wright has now posted 15 consecutive double figure scoring games, the first to have at least 15 since Cam Thomas posted double figures in the final 19 games of his college season in 2021.

The team will return to Baton Rouge late Wednesday night and then travel to Tuscaloosa for a Saturday 7 p.m. game date with Alabama.