On the road again

On a two-game roll after toppling Mississippi State, the Tigers take aim at elusive SEC road win against the last-place Gamecocks.

With two straight SEC wins for the first time this season and a small dose of momentum building, the LSU men try to take their winning ways on the road for an afternoon game at the Colonial Life Arena against South Carolina.

The Tigers (15-10, 5-6 SEC) and Gamecocks (10-15, 2-9) collide at 12:47 p.m. on the SEC Network (WAFB) and broadcast on the affiliates of the LSU Sports Radio Network (New Country 100.7 The Tiger in Baton Rouge).

LSU is fresh off a thrilling 69-67 overtime win over Mississippi State at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center on Tuesday. Freshman point guard Anthony Hickey hit an eight-foot runner with 1.4 seconds to play in OT for the game-winner.

"That was a big win for us, especially knowing that we had to dig deep down and believe in one another," Hickey said. "It takes a lot of work to come together and win that game at the end like that and now we want to build off of it."

To do that – which would mean a third SEC win in a row for the first time since the 2009 team rattled off 13 consecutive league victories on the way to a regular-season championship – the Tigers have to find the right recipe for success that has eluded them away from home this season.

LSU is 0-5 in SEC road games and only one of those setbacks was by fewer than nine points.

The Tigers' confidence is renewed after back-to-back wins against Alabama and Mississippi State, but they realize now isn't the time to exhale.

Not with three road games left, along with home contests vs. Georgia and Tennessee. Of LSU's five remaining opponents, only Tennessee has a league record over .500, so it's conceivable the Tigers have a shot at running the table.

Playing unfocused or falling into the kind of the 17-point hole LSU did vs. Mississippi State on Tuesday before storming back makes that shot much less likely.

Malik Cooke

"We haven't really accomplished anything yet," sophomore guard Ralston Turner said. "We have an opponent here in front of us and it's up to us what we do with it. If we go out and play well, we've got a chance against anybody we play. We can't start slow like we did against Mississippi State. The way we finished that game, we need to take that into the start of games."

Carolina has struggled throughout SEC play, with its two winnings coming by three points total, including a 57-56 squeaker over Georgia on Wednesday.

Forward Malik Cooke leads the Gamecocks, averaging 12.2 points per game with Bruce Ellington averaging 10.4 a contest since returning from the Carolina football program,

"South Carolina is playing with as much purpose as anybody in the league right now," LSU coach Trent Johnson said. "They've got a really nice, talented young team."

The Tigers return home on Wednesday night for a 7 p.m. SEC Network game against Georgia.

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