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Vanderbilt (8-12) at LSU (12-7)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, February 6, 8 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Maravich Center (13,472) -- Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Television: ESPN3.com. Home Record: Vanderbilt 5-5, LSU 10-2. Away Record: Vanderbilt 2-4, LSU 2-5. Neutral Record: Vanderbilt 1-3, LSU 0-0. Conference Record: Vanderbilt 2-6, LSU 3-5. Series Record: Vanderbilt leads, 60-47.
GAME NOTES: The LSU Tigers try for their third straight victory on Wednesday night, as they play host to the Vanderbilt Commodores in an SEC tilt at the Maravich Center.
Following a 58-54 home loss to Alabama on Saturday, Vanderbilt has lost three straight games, and it is hoping to avoid its first four-game slide of the season. The Commodores have lost six of their eight games since league play began at the beginning of January, and they currently sit with a lackluster 8-12 mark overall.
LSU upset No. 17 Missouri on Jan. 30 (73-70) and followed that up with a thrilling 69-68 victory at Mississippi State last Saturday. The Tigers' recent hot streak has brought their record to 12-7 overall and 3-5 in the SEC, and they have won 10 of 12 matchups at the Maravich Center this season.
Vanderbilt has beaten LSU in seven consecutive meetings to extend its lead in the all-time series to 60-47.
Vanderbilt actually outshot Alabama from the field on Saturday, 48.7 percent to 38 percent, but it could not overcome a 17-9 disadvantage in the turnover battle as it lost control of an 11-point lead with 7:10 to play. Kedren Johnson stuffed the stat sheet in the setback with 15 points, seven rebounds, four blocks and two steals, while Kyle Fuller netted 13 points off the bench. The Commodores boast one of the best scoring defenses in the SEC (61.4 ppg), but it doesn't matter much since they score a league-low 59.3 ppg, and they've actually put up less than that average in four of the last five contests. Johnson has been one of the team's few consistent producers, pouring in just shy of 15 ppg on 43.5 percent field goal efficiency. Fuller brings 10.1 ppg to the mix, and Rod Odom adds 9.2 ppg, but neither makes better than 40 percent of their field goal attempts. Vandy can't even help itself when it goes to the free-throw line, connecting on a conference-worst 59.6 percent of its foul shots.
LSU fell behind by as many as 17 points to Mississippi State over the weekend, and still trailed by six with less than two minutes to play, but Anthony Hickey scored seven points in the final 47 seconds, including the game-winning bucket in the waning moments to lift his team to a one-point victory. Hickey finished with 12 points, and his late-game heroics made up for a lackluster shooting day (5-of-14). Johnny O'Bryant logged a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds, while Shavon Coleman and Charles Carmouche netted 11 and 10 points, respectively. On the season, the Tigers rank in the upper-half of the conference in scoring offense (71.8 ppg), but they have been plagued by the worst scoring defense (68.5 ppg). Hickey is not only the squad's top scorer at 12.4 ppg, but he also possesses an outstanding assist-to-turnover ratio (61- to-27), and leads the nation with 3.5 spg. Coleman (11.9 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 1.0 bpg) and O'Bryant III (11.9 ppg, 8.5 rpg) do plenty of dirty work in the paint, while Andre Stringer (11.1 ppg) and Carmouche (9.3 ppg, 3.8 apg) round out a balanced attack.
Vanderbilt may have the defensive game plan to slow down the Tigers well- rounded starting five, but it hasn't shown the ability to keep up offensively this season. Expect LSU's hot streak at home to continue.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: LSU 65, Vanderbilt 60
02/06 10:37:12 ET
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