After losing at Georgia on Thursday night, LSU came home and beat a surging Auburn team Saturday afternoon 87-80. The Tigers were led by the usual suspects. Johnny O'Bryant had 19 points and 10 rebounds. Jordan Mickey also had a double double scoring 14 with 10 boards. Anthony Hickey hit 5 of 7 three pointers and scored 17. Andre Stringer scored 18 points and had a career high 7 assists, and Jarell Martin scored 11 points and grabbed 8 rebounds.
LSU struggled on defense allowing Auburn's perimeter players easy access into the lane. Auburn point guard Chris Denson scored 29 points to lead all scorers while KT Harrell scored 19 before fouling out. LSU recorded assists on 69.2% of their baskets and had a team ast:to ratio of 18:15. LSU also won the rebounding battle 46 to 35.
LSU was able to pull away in the second half by getting to the free throw line. They hit 27 of 38 (71.1%) from the line. Stringer hit 10 of 12 including 7 of 8 in the last 45 seconds to seal the victory. Johnny O'Bryant made 7 of his 9 from the line.
Moving forward, LSU has to re-find their defensive mentality. LSU allowed Auburn players to beat them into the paint just like Georgia did on Thursday night. LSU allowed 1.04 points per possession and were forced into late game foul trouble with Johnny O'Bryant, Jarell Martin, and Jordan Mickey each with 4 fouls. LSU's perimeter guys need to slow down driving players and LSU's big men are going to have to do a better job hedging on screens.
LSU has probably their biggest week of the season this week when they travel to Texas A&M and Arkansas. Winning both road games would really help put LSU in a better position. Ole Miss also goes on the road twice this week (Alabama and UGA) and Tennessee has Florida and Georgia. That means LSU could move into 3rd place in the SEC with two wins and some luck. Texas A&M should be a winnable game hopefully giving LSU some confidence before heading into Bud Walton Arena Saturday.