News and Notes on the Tigers

LSU's loss to Auburn on Wednesday put the Tigers in sole possession of last place in the SEC West with a 0-4 record. The Tigers had a chance to notch their first win of the year but a scoring drought late in the game was enough for Auburn to pull out an 84-80 victory.

GETTING INSIDE

There were plenty of sighs to go around.

  

LSU lost its seventh of eight games and fell to 0-4 in the SEC on Wednesday when it lost at home to Auburn, which was winless in league play. And now LSU steps up in competition over the next five weeks: at home against No. 22 Ole Miss; at Alabama, which already has a win over the Tigers and at SEC West leading and No. 23 Mississippi State; at home against No. 8 Tennessee (15-2) and No. 2 Kentucky (18-0).

  

"I don't know. We just, we just, I don't know. It's very frustrating," forward Tasmin Mitchell said.

  

"We've just got to get a victory," forward Storm Warren said. "We've just got to get a win."

  

LSU coach Trent Johnson decided to break tradition and give the Tigers a rare day off on Thursday.

  

"I can't fault our effort," he said. "We're off tomorrow. Obviously, these guys care. We're really down. They're as down as I've seen them, so I want to give them tomorrow off to go to school."

  

The Tigers' last victory was on Jan. 4 against McNeese State.

  

"As long as I've been coaching, there's never a sense of panic," Johnson said. "Nobody hates losing more than me, but I have to be realistic with this group. These kids are battling. They are battling. You can't get caught up in this.

 

“We have to continue to do the things we're doing. In two days, our guys aren't going to be faster. We can't go changing everything. We have to continue to work on what we're working on. We are who we are."

  

And LSU could soon be 0-9 in the SEC.

  

"You have to line up. You have to play. You have to continue to work," Johnson said.

  

AUBURN 84, LSU 80: For the first time in the SEC this season, LSU looked like a winner. The Tigers came back from nine down in the first half to take a 47-45 lead at the break on a layup by Storm Warren with five seconds to go. LSU kept it going in the second half and took a 60-53 lead with 13:58 to go on a layup and free throw by Bo Spencer. The Tigers still led 68-63 with 9:02 left on a layup by Warren and 76-72 with 3:29 remaining on a free throw by Tasmin Mitchell.

  

Mitchell dominated Auburn throughout the game with 38 points on 15-of-22 shooting and 10 rebounds, but the Tigers' defense fell apart down the stretch. Auburn outscored LSU 10-0 from the 3:01 mark until 20 seconds remained to seal the game.

  

"It's always the same old thing with us -- defensive breakdowns," Mitchell said. "We don't sustain our defensive intensity in the long haul. They couldn't stop us in the half court. It was just on the defensive end."

  

Auburn shot 52 percent for the game and got 9-of-17 shooting from 3-point range from guards DeWayne Reed, Frankie Sullivan and Tay Waller.

  

"Every time we were about to get some rhythm, they'd go down and make a play," LSU coach Trent Johnson said. "Once we got a nice lead, it was our mistakes."

  

STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL

SEASON RECAP: LSU has won only one game since Christmas, the lone win coming over McNeese State just before SEC play began. The loss to Auburn was the Tigers' seventh in their last eight games and ninth overall against nine wins.

  

PLAYER ROTATION

Usual Starters -- F Tasmin Mitchell, F Storm Warren, F Dennis Harris, G Bo Spencer, G Chris Bass.

Key Subs -- F Garrett Green, F Eddie Ludwig, G/F Zach Kinsley, G Aaron Dotson.

  

GAME REVIEW:

Alabama 66, LSU 49

South Carolina 67, LSU 58

Florida 72, LSU 58

Auburn 84, LSU 80

  

GAME PREVIEW:

vs. Ole Miss, Saturday, Jan. 23.

at Alabama, Wednesday, Jan. 27.

at Mississippi State, Saturday, Jan. 30.

vs. Tennessee, Thursday, Feb. 4.

  

IN FOCUS: Given the string of quality opponents coming up, LSU is in danger of falling to 0-9 in conference.

  

ROSTER REPORT:

--LSU continued to get very little from anyone other than Tasmin Mitchell and Storm Warren, who finished with 17 points. Point guard Bo Spencer added 12 points, but he missed 13 of 17 shots and all six from 3-point range. Outside of Mitchell, Spencer and Warren, who combined to take 45 shots, all other LSU players took only 19 shots.

  

--Zach Kinsley missed 5 of 6 shots vs. Auburn.


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