LSU ready for Wildcats today

The LSU men's basketball team puts its 15 game SEC home winning streak on the line Saturday afternoon as the Kentucky Wildcats come to town for a 2:45 p.m. contest at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.

The game is sold out of available tickets at this time, but with the students on Mardi Gras break, LSU students are urged to come early to the game and claim their seats because those seats still available from the student section 30 minutes prior to game time will be offered to the general public at the regular price of $14. Students are admitted free with ID.

CBS Sports will regionally televise the game.

LSU is 19-7 and 11-2 in the Southeastern Conference, having already clinched the top seed in the SEC Western Division and at least a share of a second straight SEC Western Division Championship. The Tigers have won three straight contests, including road wins at Auburn (65-61) last Saturday and Wednesday at Vanderbilt (77-66). The Tigers are tied with Tennessee for the overall regular season lead in the league.

Kentucky is 18-9 and 8-5 in the SEC, trying to assure itself of a good seed in the NCAA Tournament. LSU faces a Kentucky team that is coming off their best overall performance of the year Wednesday with an 80-40 win over Ole Miss at Rupp Arena as the Wildcats held the Rebels to just 22 percent shooting.

Against Vanderbilt, Darrel Mitchell led LSU with 21 points, while Glen Davis (16 pts, 11 reb.) and Tyrus Thomas (15 pts., 14 reb.) both had double doubles for the Tigers as LSU expanded a 31-30 halftime margin in the final 20 minutes.

"I felt like our team played well against Vanderbilt," said LSU Coach John Brady. "We held (Vandy) to 36-percent shooting and out-rebounded them. We were effective on offense and I'm proud of the way our team played. We are a little banged up. We will have our team ready to play. The game is sold out. It should be a fun game to play and coach in."

Darrel Mitchell practiced lightly with the team on Friday as he recovers from a left ankle sprain suffered in the second half against Vanderbilt. Tasmin Mitchell's back remains painful but he did go through the majority of practice on Friday as well.

The Wildcats after losing three straight to Florida, Tennessee and Vanderbilt have come back with wins over Georgia, South Carolina and Ole Miss.

"I think their offense has gotten better," said Brady, "Because their defense is better. A big thing is when you ask a player to be unselfish and just defend and rebound. They have an entire team that does that now. That is their focus. It has worked out for them on the offensive end."

The Tigers travel to South Carolina on Tuesday for an ESPN game at 6 p.m. CST and close out the regular season at home on March 4 against Ole Miss. JP Sports has chosen the game as one of their wild-card telecasts along with the Tennessee-Vanderbilt game and the game will be at either 1 or 3 p.m. next Saturday depending on the outcome of LSU and Tennessee's games this weekend.

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