Tigers and Texas Tech in SEC/Big 12 Game
Communications Sr. Associate
LUBBOCK, Texas – The LSU Tigers, after practicing in Baton Rouge in mid-afternoon, flew here late Friday afternoon and will face Texas Tech here Saturday afternoon in the annual SEC/Big 12 Challenge.
The game, set for Tech’s United Supermarkets Arena, will tip at 1 p.m. with the “Voice of the Tigers” Chris Blair on the radio call on the affiliates of the LSU Sports Radio Network (Eagle 98.1 FM in Baton Rouge and LSUsports.net/live. The television broadcast will be on ESPNU with Kevin Fitzgerald and Chris Spatola on the call.
The game is one of 10 today in the challenge matching SEC and the Big 12 teams. The complete schedule is as follows: 11 a.m. – Texas A&M at West Virginia (ESPN); 1 p.m. – LSU at Texas Tech (ESPNU), Florida at Oklahoma (ESPN), Kansas State at Tennessee; 3 p.m. – Arkansas at Oklahoma State (ESPNU), Iowa State at Vandy (ESPN2), Texas at Georgia (ESPN); 5 p.m. – Auburn at TCU (ESPNU), Baylor at Ole Miss (ESPN2); 6:15 p.m. – Kansas at Kentucky (ESPN).
The Tigers have split their two appearances in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge games with a 74-73 win coming at No. 16 West Virginia on Dec. 4, 2014 and then LSU fell to No. 1 Oklahoma, 77-75, last year in Baton Rouge (Jan. 30, 2016). LSU was 2-1 in the former SEC/Big East Event. Coach Johnny Jones is 2-1 overall in the challenge events.
The Tigers enter with a 9-10 record trying to get back on the winning side after six straight losses. Texas Tech is 14-6 under first year coach Chris Beard after suffering a 65-61 loss at No. 5 Baylor on Wednesday. Keenan Evans leads Tech with a 14.2 points per game scoring averaging while Zach Smith is at 12.8 points per game. Anthony Livingston averages 11.2 points and Aaron Ross 10.2 a contest.
The teams have met six total times with each team winning three games, but only twice since 1960. That was when LSU won both halves of a home-and-home series in 2013 and 2014. LSU was a 71-69 winner in Lubbock in 2013 and then a rallying overtime winner in Baton Rouge, 69-64.
Coach Johnny Jones said in his media session on Thursday that the team rotation and combination of players would be studied to try to find those giving the “multiple efforts.”
I think you have to reward the guys who are able to get out and be competitive and able to give multiple efforts,” Jones said. “That's what you’re looking for. They've got to be able to separate themselves. It’s easy right now for some not to, and it’s going to be tough for guys who want to dig deep to be competitive because of the way our schedule is about to turn. You’re going to have to be able to compete at a high level to have a chance to have success.”
Antonio Blakeney leads the Tigers in scoring average at 16.0 points per game, but had his eight game double figure scoring streak snapped in the Florida game. However, Blakeney did lead the Tigers in rebounding with nine.
Skylar Mays and Jalyn Patterson continue to lead the team in the point guard and passing efforts with a combined 8.51 assists per game in SEC play. Patterson is the leader in SEC game assist-to-turnover ratio at 3.9, while Mays is averaging 11.0 points in SEC play.
Duop Reath continues to work hard, averaging 13.9 points per game and 6.0 rebounds a contest. Freshman forward Wayde Sims has made 11 consecutive field goal attempts over the last three games and is averaging 6.1 points overall and 8.1 in SEC play.
The Tigers return home and SEC play for two games next week, beginning Wednesday with an 8 p.m. game against South Carolina. LSU then hosts a return game against Texas A&M next Saturday, Feb. 4, also at 8 p.m. Tickets are available at LSUtix.net.
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