Antonio Blakeney and Elbert Robinson (Photo: Terrill Weil)

Game Preview: LSU vs. Texas Tech in SEC-Big 12 Challenge

LSU looks to get back to .500 in the SEC-Big 12 Challenge as the Tigers head to Texas Tech to face the Red Raiders at 1 p.m. CT.

LSU (9-10, 1-7) vs. Texas Tech (14-6, 3-5)

WHEN: Saturday, January 28 at 1 p.m. CT
WHERE: United Supermarkets Arena (Lubbock, Texas)
TV/RADIO: ESPNU/98.1 FM in Baton Rouge
SERIES: Tied 3-3
LAST MEETING: LSU beat Tech 69-64 in 2014

Tiger Trends

LSU is coming off the worst SEC home loss in the history of the program. Florida tallied 106 points on the Tigers in the PMAC on Wednesday and it was embarrassing. LSU has tried different starting lineups and there's a good chance you'll see another change in the lineup when the Tigers take the court. One thing has remained constant, terrible defense. it really hasn't mattered what LSU does offensively as the team just can't stop anyone. An interesting note is that Mays' older brother, Stan Mays, played at Texas Tech in the Tubby Smith days.

Scouting Texas Tech

LSU's struggles have been well documented, but Texas Tech has also been struggling as of late after the start to its season had everyone in Lubbock thinking NCAA Tournament. Now, Texas Tech has lost three of its last four games and its lone win is over a TCU squad that isn't in great shape itself. The shine has worn off the start of the season for sure. The Red Raiders enter this game with Keenan Evans, Zach Smith, Anthony Livingston and Aaron Ross averaging between 10 and 14 points per game. Smith also leads the team in rebounding with seven per game, and blocks with 30. Ross’ 46-percent shooting percentage from three, and 91-percent mark from the charity stripe, lead the Red Raiders in those categories. Lucky for the Red Raiders, they host LSU on Saturday. It might be a way to end their misery streak.

Key Tech Players to Watch

G Keenan Evans: Texas Tech's leading scorer has stepped up his play in Big 12 action, averaging 15.3 points per game. Evans has scored in double-digits for nine straight games while also averaging 45 percent from beyond the arc.

F Zach Smith: The 6-8 forward is the only player in the Big 12 to be in the Top 5 of both blocks and rebounds per game with 1.6 and 7.3 respectively. 

LSU's Projected Starters:
G Skylar Mays
G Jalyn Patterson
G Antonio Blakeney
F Duop Reath
F Elbert Robinson

Texas Tech's Projected Starters:
G Keenan Evans
G Devon Thomas
G Justin Gray
F Zach Smith
F Anthony Livingston

Matchup to Watch

Zach Smith vs. Duop Reath: Reath struggled early in SEC play on the offensive end and while he continues to adjust on the defensive end, Reath has scored 12 or more points in four straight games now. Smith will be a challenge for Reath, who has scored 10+ points in six of his last seven games. While LSU has to defend the three better than the team did against Florida, if Smith can have a big day, it'll open things up even more for the Red Raiders on the perimeter. 

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