Tigers Get Mardi Gras Weekend Started With 11 A.M. Basketball Game With Alabama
BATON ROUGE – The LSU men’s basketball team faces its second ranked team this week as it hosts No. 16 Alabama in another Saturday morning contest at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.
Tipoff is set for just after 11 a.m. CT with the game broadcast on the affiliates of the LSU Sports Radio Network with the “Voice of the Tigers” Chris Blair and former head coach John Brady (Guaranty Media flagship station Eagle 98.1 FM). The game will be televised on ESPN with Kevin Fitzgerald and Carolyn Peck on the call.
Fans are encouraged to wear gold as for the second straight Saturday the Tigers will break out the Gold jerseys against the Crimson Tide. The first 500 students will receive specially designed T-shirts for the game and Mardi Grad weekend, while the first 1,000 fans will receive free breakfast sandwiches courtesy of McDonald’s. Also, at halftime, Steve Max, the master of Simon Sez, will bring his audience participation act to the Maravich Center.
“Obviously a special weekend here in Louisiana. I want to invite all of our great Tiger fans out (Saturday) morning, back in the 11 a.m. slot on national TV against what I think is one of the top-10 teams in the country in Alabama,” said LSU Coach Matt McMahon. “Want to start this Mardi Gras weekend off with the students, they will be giving out gold shirts, we will wear gold uniforms and want to encourage the fans to come out and wear gold. I know McDonald’s is supplying breakfast for the first 1,000 fans for the early morning start.
“A great opportunity for us. Quick turnaround having just played Alabama two weeks ago. I thought they were terrific in the first game. They could’ve beaten just about anyone the way they played in Coleman Coliseum. For us, we will have to do a much better job in transition defense and shot selection-wise, that’s something that really hurt us in the first matchup. We are looking forward to playing them here, back home and moving on here to the next opportunity.”
Both teams come into the game off losses, LSU at Tennessee on Wednesday, 88-68, and Alabama lost on Wednesday at Auburn, 99-81. Alabama is in a three-way tie for the lead at 8-2 with Auburn and South Carolina with Tennessee a half-game back at 7-2.
LSU is 12-10 overall and 4-5 in the league as it continues negotiating the gauntlet that started Wednesday of five games of teams with NCAA NET rankings no worse than 43.
For the second time this season, LSU will face a team for a second time in two weeks. On Jan. 27 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, up just 50-44 at halftime, sprinted away from LSU in the second half for a 109-88 victory.
For the Tigers five players were in double figures with Mike Williams III having 16 points, Derek Fountain scoring 14, Will Baker 12, Jalen Cook 11 and Jordan Wright 10. The Tigers shot 42.3 percent (30-of-71) with 11 three-point makes and 17-of-27 from the free throw line.
LSU’s last win in the series came on March 5, 2022 in Baton Rouge when LSU was an 80-77 winner in overtime.
The Tide on Wednesday was led by the 25 points, nine boards of Mark Sears with Grant Nelson scoring 16 points. Rylan Griffen had 14 points (with four treys) and Aaron Estrada added 10. Alabama shot 37.3 percent from the floor (22-of-59) with nine treys and 28-of-35 from the free throw line (80.0%). Alabama was out rebounded, 42-35.
For the season, Sears is averaging 20.3 points per game and 3.9 assists, while Estrada is at 12.8 points and Nelson posts at 12.3 points and a team best 5.8 boards. Griffen rounds out the double figure scorers at 10.7 points.