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Men's Basketball Returns Monday Against Charleston

Brandon Sampson enters Charleston game with three straight double figure contests.
Brandon Sampson enters Charleston game with three straight double figure contests.
Bridgette Hogan
Kent Lowe (@LSUkent)
Kent Lowe (@LSUkent)
Communications Sr. Associate

BATON ROUGE – The LSU Tigers look to close out the home non-conference schedule unbeaten but the goal will be a challenge as a streaking 8-3 College of Charleston team comes to the Pete Maravich Assembly Center for a 7 p.m. contest Monday night.

The Tigers are 7-2 and winners of three straight and 6-0 at the Maravich Center. Charleston comes in with five straight wins, including a 53-35 win on Friday at East Carolina.

The game will be broadcast on the LSU Sports Radio Network with Chris Blair and Henry Hays on the coverage (Eagle 98.1 FM in Baton Rouge). The game will also be broadcast with the Blair-Hays audio call on streaming video at SEC Network + and the Watch ESPN app.

Tickets are available at www.LSUtix.net and all day Monday at the LSU Athletics Ticket office. Tickets will be available at the upper concourse ticket windows of the Maravich Center beginning at 5:30 p.m.

LSU is making a quick turnaround coming off an 88-80 win over Texas Southern Saturday night, a top 70 RPI team which had the Tigers down five points in the final 10 minutes of the contest. Duop Reath had his second best scoring game of the season with 21 points (19 in the second half), while Antonio Blakeney had 16 points and Craig Victor II his third double double of his LSU career with 14 points and 10 rebounds.

LSU shot 52.4 percent for the game, making LSU 4-0 in games in which the Tigers shot 50 percent or better for the game.

But Coach Johnny Jones is continuing to look for a defensive urgency from his team.

“I think urgency has to be a term that all five of our guys that are on the floor have to play with,” Jones said. “That's really throughout the game and that's an area that we have to develop the habits to be able to do that. We have guys who are capable. We think we have the length and the strength to be able to do it but it’s more about the commitment. We have to do a better job across the board and making a better commitment to doing that. I thought we did it down the stretch (Saturday) but it was because of where the game was. If we play that way for 40 minutes then we’re obviously a different team and the scores are different.”

Against Texas Southern, the Tigers led by 10 at the half, but gave that lead up and fell behind by five before rallying for the win. That finish was helped by LSU making 6-of-6 at the free throw line in the final minute of play.

The lineup should remain the same for the Tigers on Monday with Skylar Mays (5.3 ppg, 4.1 apg), Blakeney (16.9 ppg, 4.3 rpg) and Brandon Sampson (11.7 ppg, 3.3 rpg) at the guards and Reath (14.4 ppg, 6.2 rpg) and Victor II (8.7 ppg, 7.0 rpg) at the forward sports. LSU is averaging 75.1 points per game and giving up 70.9 a game.

Charleston is led by Joe Chealey at 13.5 points per game, with Jarrell Brantley at 12.9 points per game and 8.3 rebounds a game and Grant Riller at 10.3 a contest. The Cougars, that has split games on home courts with the Tigers two last two seasons in this 2 games in Baton Rouge-1 in Charleston contract, won its opening three games of the season against The Citadel, at Coastal Carolina and against Boise State.

After three straight losses, the Cougars have not lost since Nov. 23 at No. 1 Villanova (47-63) with wins against USC Upstate, Navy, Davidson, Anderson and at East Carolina.

LSU will play at Wake Forest on Thursday night at 9 p.m. ET, 8 p.m. CT (LSU Sports Radio Network, ESPNU) in the final pre-Christmas non-conference game.

Follow updates on LSU men’s basketball at www.Facebook.com/LSUBasketball and @LSUBasketball.

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