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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Friday, December 14, 9 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Taco Bell Arena (12,480) -- Boise, Idaho. Television: None. Home Record: LSU 6-0, Boise State 4-0. Away Record: LSU 0-0, Boise State 2-2. Neutral Record: LSU 0-0, Boise State 0-0. Conference Record: LSU 0-0, Boise State 0-0. Series Record: LSU leads, 1-0.
GAME NOTES: After going undefeated on a season-opening, six-game homestand, the LSU Tigers will face their first road test of the year when they head to Taco Bell Arena on Friday night for a showdown with the Boise State Broncos.
The Tigers have won their first six games of a season for the first time since 2008-09. After collecting perhaps its most impressive victory of the year over Seton Hall on Nov. 29 (72-67), LSU came back from a lengthy break for final exams to defeat Chattanooga on Tuesday night, 80-67.
Boise State is also off to a fine start this season, winning six of its first eight games, including an upset of No. 11 Creighton on Nov. 28, 83-70. The Broncos' only two losses came in difficult road matchups, falling to Michigan State (74-70) and Utah, the setback to the Utes coming in a 76-55 final on Wednesday.
The only other matchup between these two programs came last December, with LSU winning in Baton Rouge, 64-45.
LSU has played well at both ends of the court through its first six games, shooting 46.3 percent from the field in averaging nearly 80 ppg while holding opponents to just 38.4 percent for 65.0 ppg. It also does a solid job on the glass, winning the rebounding battle by more than nine boards per contest. The dominance continued in the 13-point win over Chattanooga, as the Tigers converted better than 47 percent of their field goal attempts, including 9- of-19 from three-point range. Leading the way was Johnny O'Bryant III with a double-double, tallying 18 points and 10 rebounds while also blocking three shots. Malik Morgan also scored 18 points, and Corban Collins came off the bench to add 11 points. The Tigers count a deep rotation on a nightly basis, as five players average at least 9.5 ppg and 10 players have seen action in the starting lineup. Shavon Coleman (15.8 ppg) and O'Bryant III (13.6 ppg) are the biggest contributors, as each shoots better than 53 percent from the floor while grabbing at least 7.7 rpg. Andre Stringer (11.0 ppg), Anthony Hickey (10.2 ppg) and Charles Carmouche (9.5 ppg) have been a productive trio of guards.
Boise State actually sports a slightly lower field goal percentage (.468) than its opponents (.469), but it still boasts a plus-7.4 scoring margin by forcing 15 turnovers per game. The Broncos won the turnover battle again versus Utah earlier this week (17-6), but it didn't matter as the Utes made an astounding 67.5 percent of their field goal attempts in handing the Broncos just their second loss of the season. Derrick Marks shot 7-of-16 from the floor for 18 points, which is just below his season average of 18.6 ppg. He also leads the team in assists (3.4 apg), steals (2.5 spg), and free throw percentage (.854). Mikey Thompson scored 16 points in the setback, but he did so on just 5-of-15 from the field. Anthony Drmic is usually right on Marks' heels as the team's top scorer, putting up 14.3 ppg while grabbing a team-best 5.0 rpg. Thompson rounds out the unit's double-digit scorers with 10.4 ppg.
LSU has been impressive over the first month of the season, but it has yet to face a challenge as difficult as going up against Boise State on the road. The Tigers have the advantage in the paint, so they will keep it close, but the Broncos will feed off the energy in their building to help lift them to victory.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Boise State 78, LSU 74
12/14 10:36:07 ET
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