By Don Phillips
LSU FIGHTING TIGERS AT AUBURN TIGERS
LSU RECORD: 13-8, 6-2
LAST GAME: L, vs. Oklahoma, 75-77, 1/30/16
HEAD COACH: Johnny Jones
CAREER RECORD: 279-207 (16th season)
LSU RECORD: 74-45 (4th season)
Jones VS. AUBURN: 2-4
AUBURN RECORD: 9-11, 3-5
LAST GAME: L, vs. Oklahoma State, 63-74, 1/30/16
HEAD COACH: Bruce Pearl
CAREER RECORD: 486-176 (21st year)
AUBURN RECORD: 24-31 (2nd season)
Pearl VS. LSU: 7-4
February 2, 2016 * 6 p.m. CT * TV: SEC Network * Radio: LSU Sports Radio Network
LSU is now 2-2 in the SEC this year in road games with five road contests remaining. LSU is 8-5 in its last 13 SEC road games dating back to the start of the 2015 season (6-3 in 2015, 2-2 in 2016). LSU has wins this year at Vandy and Alabama and losses at Florida and Texas A&M.
LSU’s offensive success can sometimes be seen in the players making the extra pass that leads to good offense and baskets. That was proven in the win over Ole Miss (1/13) as LSU had 22 assists for 30 baskets (73.3%).
Even though LSU didn’t have a great deal of baskets, many of them came with the extra pass that set them up as LSU had 15 assists for the 22 baskets (68.2%) in the loss at A&M (1/19). If there was doubt assists are good, since Ben Simmons had 17 of LSU’s 32 assists in the two games in Brooklyn in November. In the comeback win against North Florida (12/2), LSU had 27 assists for 45 buckets (60 percent), 17 assists for 27 buckets in the second half (63%). LSU topped 20 assists with 21 against ORU for the 36 baskets in the game. LSU had 17 assists for its 30 baskets versus UK (1/5).
For the year, LSU has 337 assists to 603 baskets (55.8%). More importantly, LSU has 337 assists to 257 turnovers; while opponents have 267 assists to 297 turnovers. LSU is third in the league in assists average at 16 a game and is third in assist-to-turnover ratio at 1.3. Simmons has 102 assists, a 4.9 average, No. 5 in the conference.
Tim Quarterman is seventh in the SEC with an assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.3 (75-33) and Simmons is tenth at 1.6 (102-63). LSU has won 32 straight games when it has 10+ assists MORE than its opponent and is 144-5 since 1975 in this category after a 21-10 advantage in the Kennesaw State game (11/16).
Kareem Canty had a game-high 21 points and a career-high eight rebounds for the second straight time as Auburn fell to Oklahoma State 74-63 in Auburn Arena in the Big 12/SEC Challenge. Freshman Horace Spencer added a career-high 11 rebounds and six blocks to go with six points. The Tigers shot only 29 percent from the floor and 20.7 percent from 3-point range, while missing all 12 second half 3-point attempts.
Tyler Harris recorded his eighth double-double of the season with 16 points and 11 rebounds while TJ Lang added eight points and three steals. Canty leads Auburn with an 18.5 points per game average, with Harris averaging 15.3 points and 8.3 rebounds. T. J. Dunans, who has missed the last 10 games with an injury, averages 12.4 points, while Cinmeon Bowers, who did not play against Oklahoma State, is averaging 10.7 points and 9.1 rebounds.
Bruce Pearl is in his second year at Auburn since returning to coaching. He also spent six seasons as head coach at Tennessee. LSU holds an 84-66 advantage in the series as Auburn won two of the three games last year. LSU won the game at Auburn, while Auburn won in Baton Rouge and Nashville. The teams are 2-2 in Auburn Arena.
You’ll find the LSU Tigers a 7-point road favorite with the number at 158 with LSU -310 and Auburn +250 on the moneyline at America’s Bookie. Check in on the best online sportsbook for all the latest NCAAB odds leading up to March Madness.