LSU Looks To Continue Strong Run On Trip to Auburn

Auburn will entertain LSU on Saturday in men's basketball play at the coliseum.

Auburn, Ala.--Auburn will try to pull off a major turnaround in a basketball rematch vs. LSU on Saturday at Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum.

To do that Coach Jeff Lebo's Tigers will have to knock off a hot LSU team that should have plenty of motivation for the 3 p.m. game on the Auburn campus. The contest will be televised regionally by JP.

LSU has won seven of its last nine games to position the Bayou Bengals for an NCAA Tournament bid with a 9-4 SEC record and a 16-8 overall mark. LSU is also in the hunt to finish with the best record in the SEC West.

In contrast, Auburn has lost three straight to slip below .500 overall at 12-14. The Tigers are 3-10 in the conference with three games to play in the regular season.

Last season Auburn swept the series vs. LSU. This year Coach John Brady's team is a heavy favorite to do the same thing to Auburn.

LSU features five starters who score in double figures, led by 17.4 points per game from sophomore Brandon Bass, who Lebo says is probably the most talented player in the SEC. The 6-8, 252-pounder averages 8.6 rebounds.

Darrel Mitchell, a 5-11, 176 junior guard, is averaging 13.3 points.

A matchup nightmare for the undersized home team, Glen Davis is a 6-9, 310-pound freshman forward. "Big Baby" is averaging 13.1 points and 8.9 rebounds.

Antonio Hudson, a 6-6, 214 forward, is averaging 12.7 points and 3.2 rebounds per game as a senior.

LSU's other starter is 5-11, 200 sophomore guard Tack Minor, who averages 11.1 points and 5.2 assists.

In the first meeting between the two teams in Baton Rouge on Feb. 9, a 90-69 victory for LSU, Minor tied for team-high scoring honors with Mitchell at 17 points.

Nathan Watson led the Tigers in the first matchup with 19 points while Toney Douglas added 18.

"LSU handled us very easily in Baton Rouge," Lebo says. "They have maybe the two best big guys together in the league, and they really dominated us in the first game."

Lebo's team put up a good fight on Wednesday night before falling at fifth-ranked Kentucky 81-73. In that game, Douglas came out of his mini-slump as a scorer with 21 second half points. The team, which had scored 88 points combined in its previous two outings, did better offensively, too.

The Auburn coach says that Douglas deserves consideration for SEC Freshman of the Year honors. "You have to take a good look at Toney. The sad thing with Toney is a lot of people are going to pick somebody who is on a winning team and maybe bypass him. There is not a freshman that has meant more to his team than Toney has."

Douglas hit 7-11 second half field goals at Kentucky to snap a slump in which he had made just two of 26 shots in the previous 2 1/2 games.

Ian Young is trying to get out of a shooting slump. He has hit 10-39 shots during Auburn's three-game losing streak.

After Saturday's game will have just one home date left on March 5th vs. Arkansas. The Tigers are currently 7-6 in games at Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum.


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