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LSU and Bama square off

The LSU Tigers look to continue their strong play at home Saturday afternoon when they host the Alabama Crimson Tide in a Southeastern Conference men's basketball game at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center at 12:30.

LSU needs a win to keep its post-season hopes going strong

LSU, coming off an 82-72 loss at Tennessee on Tuesday, is 15-9 overall and 6-7 in the Southeastern Conference, while Alabama, a 64-56 winner over Mississippi State, is 18-8 and 10-3 in the league. Alabama is in second in the league, one game behind league leader Florida. The Tigers are in a three-way tie for eighth entering the weekend.

"Despite the setback at Tennessee, I thought our guys played extremely hard,” said LSU head coach Johnny Jones. “I thought we played against a team that's probably playing as well as anyone in our conference right now. They're playing extremely confident.”

This will be the second time that LSU and Alabama have met with Alabama scoring a 60-57 win two weeks ago in Tuscaloosa.

Johnny O'Bryant III led LSU with 22 points and 11 rebounds, while Shavon Coleman had 11 points. LSU shot 37.5 percent for the game.

Alabama has won 6-of-the-last-7 games with LSU's win coming last year in Baton Rouge, 67-58. LSU leads the series in Baton Rouge, 46-30.

LSU is expected to keep its lineup intact with junior Andre Stringer (10.6 ppg, 2.0 apg), freshman Malik Morgan (5.7 ppg, 3.3 rpg) and sophomore Anthony Hickey (11.8 ppg, 3.8 apg, 3.2 spg) at guards, with O'Bryant III at forward (13.5 ppg, 8.6 rpg) and Andrew Del Piero at center (4.4 ppg, 3.2 rpg).

Alabama is led by guards Trevor Reliford and Trevor Lacey.

Reliford, who had 17 points and five assists in the win over Mississippi State, is averaging 14.4 points per game, while Lacey averages 11.9 points a contest. Rodney Cooper, who had 20 points and 10 rebounds against State, comes in with an 11.1 average after his first career double-double.

"I think you just have to continue to try to stay inside and make them play over the top of you,” Jones said of matching up with Alabama’s guards. “We have to play with a sense of urgency and toughness. We're hopeful that we do a better job of helping defensively in terms of our rotations. We've got to continue to rebound the basketball against them."

O'Bryant III is tied for the league lead in double ups with 11 and in the last four games for LSU has averaged over 21 points a contest. He is fourth in the league in rebound average entering the weekend.

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