LSU heads East looking for 2nd straight win

Fresh off a comeback win at Houston, the Tigers tangle with Rutgers in the Big East/SEC Challenge

PISCATAWAY, N.J. – With an exciting one-point come-from-behind win in the rear-view mirror and staring straight at fall semester final exams in the future, the LSU men close the first chapter on the 2011-12 season Saturday when they travel east to face Rutgers.

The game is the 11th of 12 games in the Big East-SEC Challenge and with only the Mississippi State-West Virginia game to follow the LSU game in Starkville later Saturday.

LSU is 4-3 on the year after the 59-58 win over Houston Tuesday night at Hofheinz Pavilion in which LSU rallied from an eight-point halftime deficit to get the win on two Storm Warren free throws with 1.2 seconds to play.

Rutgers is also 4-3 on the year, having won all four home games, the latest a 94-56 triumph over Maryland-Baltimore County. The others wins have come against Dartmouth, Sacred Heart and Hampton.

The Tigers found themselves in a 38-30 hole at intermission at UH before making an aggressive showing in the second half that found LSU getting a 14-1 advantage in the second half on the offensive boards. In fact, the winning free throws were set up after Anthony Hickey missed on a drive to the bucket and Warren grabbed the rebound and was fouled on his shot attempt.

Andre Stringer led LSU in the game with 13 points, while Ralston Turner and Warren had 12 points and Justin Hamilton had 11. The Tigers won despite their young freshman stars, Anthony Hickey and Johnny O'Bryant III, having off nights offensively.

Rutgers is led in scoring by Gilvydas Biruta, who comes in averaging 12.1 points per game and has scored in double figures in five consecutive games. Guard Myles Mack (9.4 ppg), shot 7-of-9 from the field with a career high 20-point effort against UMBC.

The Tigers are expected to go with Anthony Hickey, Stringer and Turner at guards, with Johnny O'Bryant III at forward and Hamilton and center.

Stringer comes in the leading scorer on the team at 12 points per game, while Hickey is at 11.6 and Turner and Hamilton 11.1 points.

Following the Tigers return after the game, final exams begin on Monday on the LSU campus through Saturday afternoon and LSU begins a three-game homestand at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center next Saturday against Boise State.

CHALK TALK: LSU at Rutgers

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