Tigers travel to SEC West leading Miss. State

The LSU men's basketball team hopes to begin regaining its normal roster Wednesday night when the Tigers travel to Humphrey Coliseum to face seventh-ranked Mississippi State at 7 p.m.

The game will be regionally televised by JP Sports (WAFB, Channel 9 in Baton Rouge) and the radio broadcast will be available on the LSU Sports Network (Eagle 98.1 FM in Baton Rouge) and on the Internet at www.LSUsports.net.

The 17-6 Tigers remain in second place in the SEC West at 7-5, two games up on Alabama and three games up on Auburn and Ole Miss with a magic number of two on all three teams to clinch the second Western Division bye in the SEC Tournament. Mississippi State is 21-2 overall, 10-2 in the league coming off a Saturday loss at home to Alabama. Ironically, LSU will face Mississippi State for the second time this season coming off one of their two losses.

"That doesn't help us out," said LSU Coach John Brady.

The first time the teams met in January, the Bulldogs scored a 64-54 victory as the Tigers fell behind early and trailed at the half, 27-15, before taking the lead with under nine minutes to play. But Mississippi State was able to stop the Tigers out and outscored LSU 24-12 down the stretch to win the game.

LSU's Jaime Lloreda, who missed the Vanderbilt game, and Regis Koundjia, who missed the last two games, went through the majority of the practices on both Monday and Tuesday and both are scheduled to dress for the game on Wednesday evening. It is expected that LSU will keep its present three-guard alignment in check of Xavier Whipple, Darrel Mitchell and Antonio Hudson and go with forwards Brandon Bass and Lloreda in the game against Mississippi State.

Playing without the Lloreda and Koundjia, the Tigers had a good first half, leading 28-22 at intermission at Vanderbilt, before the Commodores took the game over in the second half scoring 52 points.

"I thought our team played pretty good for about 30 minutes," said Brady. "They made some great shots. I thought out perimeter players played good, but Vanderbilt was just outstanding."

LSU returns home Sunday at 3 p.m. to face Kentucky in a regionally televised game on CBS. Fans are encouraged to wear gold for the contest and former LSU Coach Dale Brown will be honored at halftime of the contest.

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