The LSU Tigers men's basketball team, on a three-game winning streak that includes back-to-back one-point victories for the first time since 1982, will try to win for the fourth-straight time when they travel Saturday to Coleman Coliseum to take on the Crimson Tide of Alabama.
LSU looks for its fourth straight win on Saturday
Game time is set for 7:05 p.m. CST and the contest will be televised nationally on ESPN2 with Mark Jones and Jimmy Dykes on the call.
Alabama leads the overall series, 101-67, with LSU's win late last season stopping a five-game Tide win streak. Alabama leads, 65-17, in games at Tuscaloosa.
“I think it's obviously a good rivalry,” said LSU head coach Johnny Jones. “It extends from football to basketball, you name it. I don't care what we're playing in. It's a challenge because I think the number of years that you've been in the conference together.
“I think for basketball obviously Kentucky is a huge rival as well, but I don't think the Alabama rivalry is any different from those. I think it stands out there and is at the top just as well."
The Tigers have won four-of-their-last five contests by margins of four, three and twice by one point to up their overall mark to 13-7 and 4-5 in the league which is good for eighth place.
The Tigers, following their dramatic last-second win at Mississippi State on Saturday, needed two late Johnny O'Bryant III free throws that were the difference in the 57-56 win versus Vanderbilt.
“We're a lot further along than we were a few weeks back,” said Jones. “I think the sign of an improved team, or a good team is when you don't play your best and you still have an opportunity to succeed or win.”
Alabama, sitting at 14-8 and 6-3 in the league, had a 10-point halftime lead in its game Wednesday night at Auburn only to lose the contest, 49-37. Coach Anthony Grant's Tide does have a home victory over Kentucky earlier in the season and Coleman Coliseum has been one of the toughest venues in the league for the Tigers to win on a regular basis.
"Well, I think the good thing what they do defensively is that they're a very aggressive style basketball team.” Jones said of Alabama. “They get after you defensively. A lot of times what they do is create their offense from their defense which gives themselves some easy scoring opportunities. I think that's something that they really rely on, that defensive pressure to create easy scoring opportunities for them."
The lineup for the last two games should remain the same for LSU with Anthony Hickey (12.5 ppg, 3.7 apg),Andre Stringer (10.9 ppg, 1.9 apg) and Malik Morgan (5.6 ppg, 3.3 rpg) at the guards with O'Bryant III (11.8 ppg, 8.3 rpg) and Shavon Coleman (11.4 ppg, 7.2 rpg) at the forwards.
Hickey, who hit the runner that won the Mississippi State game, tied her career high with four treys and equaled her LSU rebound high with seven. Stringer, in the contest had two assists and that made him the 29th player in LSU history to have 200 career assists. He earlier cracked the top 10 in career threes made with 142.