Andre Stringer rediscovers scoring touch

After a four-game swoon from 3-point range, LSU's sophomore guard delivers 15 points in 67-58 triumph.

As the season winds down for the LSU men, there also comes the close on a disappointing and wildly inconsistent sophomore campaign for Andre Stringer.

The 5-foot-9 shooting guard not only battled with fainting and dizziness spells in December, but he has also struggled with his shot, perhaps his best attribute on the court.

Over the previous six games before Saturday's 67-58 victory over Alabama, Stringer shot 12-for-55 (21.8%) from the field and scored fewer than 5 points on three different occasions.

However, Stringer found his groove against the Crimson Tide. The Jackson, Miss., native shot 45% from the floor (5-for-11) and finished with 15 points.

"It was very big for me," Stringer said. "I got a chance to see some shots go in. I haven't seen that in the past couple of games, but I stayed aggressive and Coach has been telling me and to stay aggressive and keep shooting."

Stringer recorded LSU's first points of the night on a runner in the lane and then found Justin Hamilton underneath for a basket and the foul.

After a Ralston Turner missed 3-pointer, Hamilton grabbed the offensive rebound and swung the ball to Anthony Hickey, who found Stringer for a 3-pointer to give the Tigers a 10-2 lead with 17:06 left in the first half.

Two minutes later, following baskets by Alabama's Rodney Cooper and Nick Jacobs, Stringer responded with a long jump shot just inside 3-point range.

"I thought he was relaxed and was composed," LSU coach Trent Johnson said. "He missed his first one and then Anthony came right back to him. Hopefully we will build off of that and he will be more consistent."

Primarily known for playing beyond the 3-point arc, Stringer made his presence felt by moving the ball around and penetrating Alabama's defense.

While credited with 2 assists, Stringer's well-rounded game opened up the teeth of Alabama's defense as Hamilton and Johnny O'Bryant were the beneficiaries.

"I wanted to get in the paint and make other guys better," Stringer said. "I wanted to shoot the long ball, but when I get inside and hit my teammates with open shots it's harder to guard a team like that. So I just wanted to be aggressive throughout the game."

Stringer wasn't the only aggressive and effective guard in gold for the Tigers.

Freshman point guard Anthony Hickey, who ended with a modest 4 points, was there to hold off a strong second-half surge from the Crimson Tide.

Coming out of the locker room, Alabama's Cooper cracked the game wide open after LSU commanded the contest 31-15 at halftime.

Cooper was the catalysis for Alabama, scoring 28 points while helping the Crimson Tide engineer a 12-0 run to start the second half.

Whenever Alabama got close, it was Hickey who sealed the door shut. Leading 37-34 with 12:19 remaining in the game, the guard duo for LSU struck back when Hickey found Stringer for a layup.

With 8:12 left and LSU on top 48-41, Hickey corralled a Charlie Hankerson missed 3-pointer and advanced the ball to Stringer, who finished with another layup.

"We had to make an adjustment," Hickey said. "We called a timeout to get everybody settled then we started playing back together. As the game continued we started knocking down shots and we pulled out the win."

Filling the facilitator type role all night, Hickey chipped in 5 rebounds, 5 assists and a steal while attempting just two field goals, but no shot was more important than his 3-pointer to give the Tigers a 60-51 advantage with 1:41 left.

"I thought Anthony showed great courage when he hit that 3," Johnson said.

After the game, Stringer said the team was "vibing" – and that they were – with the play of both guards and both big man. With six games remaining in the season, the Tigers, along with Stringer, will look to build off of Saturday night's success.

Matt Marcantonio is a senior print journalism major at LSU’s Manship School of Mass Communication. Prior to his internship with Tiger Sports Digest, he contributed to The Advocate and interned with Sports Illustrated in the summer of 2011. Our resident Yankee, Marcantonio was born and raised in Leominster, Mass.

Tigers grit out 67-58 victory

VIDEO: Trent Johnson on Tigers' win over Alabama

VIDEO: Tigers recap their 67-58 win over Alabama


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