HOUSTON - The LSU men's basketball team looks to bounce back to the winning side of the ledger Tuesday night when it plays the University of Houston at Hofheinz Pavilion on the UH campus.
The Tigers (3-3) and Cougars (3-2) are being overshadowed by their football brethren as both happen to be undefeated in football at 12-0 and preparing for conference championship games on Saturday. The Cougars host the C-USA Championship game, while LSU travels to the Georgia Dome in Atlanta to take on the University of Georgia.
The game will be telecast on the CBS Sports Network beginning at 7 p.m. with the radio broadcast on the affiliates of the LSU Sports Radio Network (New Country 100.7 FM the Tiger in Baton Rouge) and in the Geaux Zone at LSUsports.net.
This is the start of the second in three weeks in which every game for the Tigers will be on the road as LSU must travel to Rutgers on Saturday for a 6 p.m. CST game on ESPNU as part of the Big East-SEC Challenge.
Both teams struggled last week at home with LSU losing to South Alabama at the Maravich Center, 79-75, in overtime and Houston falling first to Oakland (76-74) on Tuesday and then Saturday night on a buzzer beating desperation over-the-shoulder toss to TCU, 81-80.
Andre Stringer led LSU with 20 points in the contest, his third best scoring game of his LSU career, and point guard Anthony Hickey had six assists and no turnovers, but more perplexing was LSU's inability to sustain the game when the Tigers built a double digit halftime advantage that carried well into the second half before South Alabama took control of the contest, forced overtime and then outshot LSU to win.
"We had a lack of energy," Coach Trent Johnson said. "Like I told the team, you just can't show up and expect to win a game, whether you are at home or on the road. We were up 10 and we had some opportunities, but the guys got cute with the ball. Now you are in a situation where you are giving (South Alabama) life and what they need to stay in the game. Good thing about it, I don't want to say it is early, but it is early."
The Tigers defeated the Cougars, 73-57, last year in Baton Rouge in Houston Coach James Dickey's debut season with Houston. Dickey was the head coach at Texas Tech from 1991-2001 and had six seasons as an assistant at Oklahoma State before returning to the sidelines as a head coach at Houston. Dickey had stints as an assistant at Arkansas and Kentucky.
The Cougars leading scorer is Alandise Harris, a sophomore forward from Little Rock, Ark., who averages 17.8 points per games. Guards Joseph Young (11.6 ppg) and Jonathon Simmons (10.6 ppg) also average in double figures. Reserve forward Kirk Van Slyke has a 15.0 points per game average.
The Tigers are led in scoring by freshman Hickey at 13.2 points per game while also averaging 4.2 assists per game. Stringer is averaging 11.8 points, while center Justin Hamilton is at 11.2 points per game and sophomore guard Ralston Turner is at 11.0.
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