The Tigers (3-3) and Cougars (3-2) both struggled last week at home with LSU losing to South Alabama at the Maravich Center 79-75 in overtime and Houston falling first to Oakland (76-74) on Tuesday and then Saturday night on a buzzer-beating desperation over-the-shoulder toss to TCU, 81-80.
Andre Stringer led LSU with 20 points against South Alabama, his third-best scoring game of his LSU career, and point guard Anthony Hickey had 6 assists and no turnovers.
"We had a lack of energy," Tigers coach Trent Johnson said. "Like I told the team, you just can't show up and expect to win a game, whether you are at home or on the road. We were up 10 and we had some opportunities, but the guys got cute with the ball. Now you are in a situation where you are giving (South Alabama) life and what they need to stay in the game. Good thing about it, I don't want to say it is early, but it is early."
The Tigers defeated the Cougars 73-57 last year in Baton Rouge in Houston coach James Dickey's debut season with Houston. Dickey was the head coach at Texas Tech from 1991-2001 and had six seasons as an assistant at Oklahoma State before returning to the sidelines as a head coach at Houston. Dickey had stints as an assistant at Arkansas and Kentucky under Eddie Sutton.
The Cougars' leading scorer is Alandise Harris, a sophomore forward from Little Rock, who averages 17.8 points per games. Guards Joseph Young (11.6 ppg) and Jonathon Simmons (10.6 ppg) also average in double figures. Reserve forward Kirk Van Slyke has a 15 points per game average.
The Tigers are led in scoring by freshman Hickey at 13.2 points per game while also averaging 4.2 assists per game. Stringer is averaging 11.8 points, while center Justin Hamilton is at 11.2 points per game and sophomore guard Ralston Turner is at 11.