PREVIEW: Tigers again on SEC Road at Miss State Wednesday

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LSU head coach Will Wade talks with his players in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Vanderbilt Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

BATON ROUGE – The LSU men’s basketball team, after an unexpected open date on Saturday, gets back to play Wednesday when the Tigers travel to Starkville, Mississippi to take on the Mississippi State Bulldogs.

The game is set for just after 8 p.m. at Humphrey Coliseum with Beth Mowins and Dane Bradshaw to call the telecast on ESPNU. The “Voice of the Tigers,” Chris Blair and former LSU head coach John Brady will broadcast the game on the affiliates of the LSU Sports Radio Network (including Guaranty Media flagship affiliate Eagle98.1 FM in Baton Rouge). 

LSU is 11-6 and 6-4 in the Southeastern Conference while Mississippi State is 11-9 and 5-6 in the league. LSU is in a four-way tie for third in the SEC entering Tuesday night’s action, while Mississippi State is one of the five teams that have actually been able to play on all 11 conference dates so far. 

While the Tigers did not host Florida as scheduled because of Covid issues within the Gator program, Mississippi State scored a 75-59 win at South Carolina on Saturday. D. J. Stewart Jr and Iverson Molinar combined for 45 points in the win with Stewart posting 29 and Molinar 16. The pair were 16-of-28 from the floor and 6-of-11 from the arc. 

The Bulldogs shot 46.4 percent for the game, including 10-of-19 from the arc in the win and out rebounded South Carolina, 46-30.

For the second time, the Tigers struggled offensively in its last game at Alabama, falling 78-60. In the game however, junior guard Javonte Smart became the 43rd player in LSU history to top 1,000 career points and the 35th to top 100 career steals. That makes him one of 13 LSU players to record 1,000 career points, 200 career assists and 100 career steals. 

LSU junior Darius Days is still listed as doubtful for the game after his ankle injury in the Texas Tech game but Coach Will Wade said on his radio show Monday night that Days began some 5-on-0 work during practice earlier in the day and that there was a chance he could see some action on Wednesday. The Tigers, the coach mentioned, has some other injuries that the team is also dealing with. 

Cameron Thomas leads LSU in scoring at 22.3 points per game, which is tied for No. 2 in the nation. Trendon Watford averages 16.9 points, Smart at 15.4 and Days at 12.1. 

State is led by Stewart at 17.7 points per game with Molinar at 16.8. Tolu Smith is the other player averaging in double figures at 12.6 points per game. 

This will be the fourth straight Southeastern Conference game LSU has played on the road – at Kentucky, at Texas A&M, at Alabama and at Mississippi State. It will be the first time LSU has played four straight conference games on the road since the 1972 season when LSU faced Alabama, Auburn, Georgia and Florida on the road.

LSU will finally play a conference home game on Saturday at 1 p.m. in the Maravich Center when the Tigers play Tennessee. The game is set for 1 p.m.

(Release via LSU Athletics)

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