GAME NOTES: The Tennessee Volunteers and the LSU Tigers both try to extend
winning streaks on Tuesday night when the long-time SEC rivals meet at
LSU has been one of the SEC's hottest teams, as it has won two in a row and
five of its last six to improve to 15-8 overall and pull itself even in the
SEC at 6-6. The Tigers took care of business at home on Saturday night,
defeating Mississippi State in an 80-68 final.
Tennessee (14-10) has also crawled back to 6-6 in the league following a
recent three-game win streak, beating South Carolina (66-61), Vanderbilt
(58-46) and Kentucky (88-58) during that stretch. The Vols have enjoyed
playing at Thompson-Boling Arena this season, where they have won 10 of 13
Tennessee has beaten LSU on four straight occasions to improve its lead in the
all-time series to 60-43.
The Tigers opened up a 41-28 lead over Mississippi State over the weekend, and
their advantage never dipped below eight points the rest of the way as they
cruised to the comfortable victory. It was an outstanding shooting night for
LSU (.545), with Charles Carmouche leading the way with 21 points off the
bench on 8-of-11 shooting (including 5-of-8 from 3-point range). Johnny
O'Bryant III continued his hot play of late, flirting with a triple-double by
tallying 10 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists, and he now leads the SEC
with 11 double-doubles on the season. Andrew Del Piero netted 13 points, while
Anthony Hickey (six assists) and Andre Stringer tallied 10 points apiece to
round out a balanced effort. LSU has been strong at the offensive end of the
court this season, pouring in 70.6 ppg. O'Bryant III records 13.0 ppg on 48.9
percent shooting to go along with 8.7 rpg, while Anthony Hickey nets 11.7 ppg
and leads the nation in steals with 3.3 spg. Shavon Coleman (10.8 ppg, 6.7
rpg), Stringer (10.7 ppg) and Carmouche (9.4 ppg, 3.6 apg) have also been
The Vols thoroughly dominated the shorthanded Wildcats on Saturday afternoon,
shooting a lofty 58 percent from the field while holding Kentucky to 35.8
percent en route to the 30-point victory, their largest margin of victory ever
against the Wildcats. Trae Golden was outstanding in the triumph, as not only
did he shot 6-of-8 from the field and 11-of-12 from the foul line in netting
24 points, but he also dished out eight assists and committed zero turnovers.
Jordan McRae logged 15 points, six rebounds, three blocks and two steals,
Kenny Hall had 12 points off the bench, and Jarnell Stokes narrowly missed a
double-double with nine points and nine boards. The offensive outburst for
Tennessee was out character for a team that averages just 64.7 ppg, but it has
found success behind a stellar scoring defense, which yields a mere 61.5 ppg.
McRae paces the squad with 13.8 ppg, while Stokes (12.5 ppg, 8.6 rpg, 1.3 bpg,
.548 FG percentage) is one of the strongest forwards in the SEC. Golden chips
in 11.0 ppg with more than twice as many assists (87) as turnovers (39).
Despite having won two of its last three games away from home, LSU has not
been very strong on the road this season, and rolling into Knoxville to face a
red-hot Tennessee squad does not bode well for the Tigers' chances to keep
their streak alive.