Tigers Depart For Auburn and Wednesday Tilt

Tigers at Auburn Wed. on LSU Sports Radio Network & SEC Network
Tigers at Auburn Wed. on LSU Sports Radio Network & SEC Network
Steve Franz
Kent Lowe (@LSUkent)
Kent Lowe (@LSUkent)
Communications Sr. Associate

AUBURN, Ala. – The LSU Tigers for the first time get to experience a week of games on the road and it starts here on Wednesday in the mid-week nightcap at the Auburn Arena between the LSU Tigers and the Auburn Tigers.

Tip time is 7:30 p.m. at the Arena where LSU has won the last two years. The game will be broadcast on the affiliates of the LSU Sports Radio Network (Eagle 98.1 FM and at LSUsports.net) with Chris Blair on the call; and, on television on the SEC Network with Dave Neal and Chris Spatola calling the broadcast.

LSU is 9-7 overall and 1-4 on the year in the SEC, while Auburn is 11-6 and also 1-4 in the league. Both teams have defeated Mizzou at Missouri for their lone SEC win.

Sophomore guard Antonio Blakeney is listed as day-to-day for the game on Wednesday night and his status will probably not be fully determined until the team practices late Tuesday and then has its shoot around on Wednesday. Blakeney suffered an ankle injury late in Saturday’s 81-66 loss to Alabama.

Both teams like to get up and down the floor with Auburn averaging 78.8 points a game, while LSU comes in with an average of 75.6 points per game.

“We know that for us it’s important that we go back out and challenge, continue to compete and fight extremely hard. That's our mission,” said LSU Coach Johnny Jones. “We have to get back at it … in preparation for an Auburn team that we feel has a lot of weapons on the offensive end of the floor. They've got a lot of guys that play with a great deal of energy and excitement. They’re a good offensive basketball team that's going to present a great challenge for us.

“We have to make sure we stay poised under their pressure. They’re a good pressure defensive team and they feed off of that. We have to make sure that we’re poised enough to make the right plays. Unfortunately, we didn't do a great job of that down the stretch in the last four of five minutes of the game versus Alabama on Saturday. We’ll clean those things up and hopefully be able to execute at a better level against another good opponent in Auburn on Wednesday night.”

LSU had Alabama tied at 56 all with 5:06 to play before Alabama hit a three out-of-a-time-out and then took advantage of two missed shots and a turnover to score 11 straight points to take command of the contest.

If Blakeney can go, LSU could possibly go with this lineup that it used in the Alabama game with juniors Duop Reath (13.7 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 2.0 bpg) and Aaron Epps (6.1 ppg, 4.3 rpg) at forwards; with junior Jalyn Patterson (6.1 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 3.4 apg), sophomore Blakeney (17.1 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 1.8 apg) and junior Branden Jenkins (2.0 ppg, 1.0 rpg, 1.2 apg) at the guards.

If Blakeney can’t go, then either sophomore Brandon Sampson (10.9 ppg, 3.1 rpg) or freshman Skylar Mays (6.4 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 4.0 apg) could move into that starting spot.

Auburn is led by Mustapha Heron at 15.9 points a contest and 6.2 rebounds, with Danjel Purifoy at 13.7 points and Jared Harper at 13.2 points a game. Purifoy has missed the last two games for Auburn.

Auburn has played its last two games on the road, including Saturday’s 92-72 loss at Kentucky and this will be the first game back at home since school started last week. Auburn Coach Bruce Pearl is in his third year at Auburn and his 22nd year overall and he will be going for his 500th career victory.

LSU travels to Arkansas for a 7:30 p.m. game in Fayetteville on Saturday.

Follow updates on the game at www.Facebook.com/LSUBasketball and @LSUBasketball on Twitter.

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