BATON ROUGE - Baton Rouge's two Division I universities meet in basketball Monday night at LSU's Pete Maravich Assembly Center as the LSU Tigers host the Southern Jaguars.
For both teams the game will be their first since short Christmas breaks as both teams returned on Sunday for a day of practice prior to the contest. LSU last played on Wednesday and Southern on Thursday.
The game will tip at a special earlier time of 6 p.m. to accommodate both Cox Sports TV and to allow fans to get home to see the majority of the New Orleans Saints-Atlanta Falcons Monday night football game that will kick off in Atlanta after 7:30 p.m.
Besides the CST television coverage the game will be broadcast on the affiliates of the LSU Sports Radio Network (WTGE New Country 100.7 FM The Tiger in Baton Rouge) and at www.LSUsports.net./live.
Tickets are available starting at $14 and $5 for youth (ages 3-12) online at LSUtix.net and also beginning at 5:30 p.m. on game night at the upper concourse ticket windows of the Maravich Center.
LSU is 7-5 on the year having lost its last two games to Wichita State and North Texas. Southern is 1-10 on the year, having lost eight straight. In its last game on Thursday, the Jaguars took Tulane to the wire before falling, 68-65.
This will be the ninth time since 1985 the two teams have met at the Maravich Center with LSU having won all eight previous meetings. The teams last met on Nov. 30, 2008 with LSU winning, 88-45.
This will be the final week of non-conference play for LSU as after Monday's game the Tigers travel to Houston for a game with Rice on Wednesday and then the Tigers will face Virginia in Charlottesville on Sunday, Jan. 2. LSU opens SEC play on the road at Auburn on Jan. 8 before returning for its next home game on Jan. 12 against Arkansas, one of just two SEC homes games LSU plays in the month of January.
LSU is expected to remain with the starting lineup it has used for the past 10 games of guard Andre Stringer, Ralston Turner and Aaron Dotson with Malcolm White and Storm Warren at guards. White with 12 and Warren with 10 were in double figures as the forwards led LSU in scoring.
"The one thing that is apparent with this team from an offensive standpoint is the value that Andre Stringer and Ralston Turner have and the impact they have on us because the ball didn't go down for Ralston, Andre got in foul trouble and so, we struggled," Coach Trent Johnson said about their play in the North Texas game. "But we are looking forward to coming back here (after the Christmas break) and getting back after it."
One of the bright spots for LSU is the continued play of Garrett Green who showed some of the consistency Coach Johnson has been looking for by scoring in double figures in back-to-back games. Green had his first double figure scoring game and a double double with 15 points-13 rebounds against Wichita State and then followed it up against North Texas with 10 points in 16 minutes.
North Texas's veteran squad had 40 points in the paint against LSU and 13 second chance points so LSU will use these final three non-conference games to prepare it and make corrections in preparation for SEC play.
"We've gotten to a point now in practice, 80 percent of what we do in practice is defending our opponent and talking about blocking out, rebounding and taking care of the ball," said Johnson. "The law of averages says we are going to continue to do it and hopefully get better at it."
The Jaguars are led by Blake Sanford averaging 12.3 points per game and Julius Ingram, who is averaging 12.1 points per game. Sanford had 22 points in 33 minutes against Tulane, hitting 8-of-17 field goals, including three treys, while Brandon White had 12 points and was over his 3.5 assists per game average with six assists. Jameel Grace, who is averaging five assists, also had six assists against the Wave, to go with 10 points.
LSU basketball can be found on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/LSUBasketball and on Twitter @LSUBasketball and LSUCoachJohnson.com.