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LSU has had trouble against the lower end of the SEC this season, plagued with a lack of effort defensively and in rebounding. However, this time around, Auburn got LSU's full attention. LSU made 69.8% of their two point shots (30/43) and 33.3% of their three point shots (7/21) to cruise to an 84 to 61 victory.

LSU was lead by Jarell Martin who had another double-double. This time with 25 points on 11 of 17 shooting and 12 rebounds. LSU also got significant contributions from Jalyn Patterson (16 points 7:1 Ast:TO -- both career highs), Jordan Mickey (14 points, 4 rebounds, 3 blocks), and Keith Hornsby (13 points, 4 rebounds). Josh Gray came off the bench for 18 minutes with a very efficient 6 points , 3 rebounds, and a 6:1 Ast:TO.

Defensively, LSU held in check the three headed monster that really hurt the Tigers the first go-around. KT Harrell, Antoine Mason, and Cinmeon Bowers scored a combined 68 points for Auburn in game 1. LSU greatly improved their defense on the three, giving them only 36 points this time.

The 84 points LSU scored were their most in an SEC non-OT game since a 92-81 win over Mississippi State last season. They scored 1.25 points per possession in a relatively slow paced LSU game as the Tigers began milking the clock pretty heavy in the second half.

Where does that put LSU:

The win has seemed to please some of the rankings. LSU's ESPN RPI moved up to 50th (from 53) after the win. Their BPI moved from 38th to 35th. The Tigers KenPom ranking moved into the 20's for the first time this season jumping from 32 to 29 after the 23 point win. CBS's RPI still has LSU ranked 52nd.

The Tigers are just 1 game behind Texas A&M for 4th place and the 3rd place Ole Miss team plays Georgia today and LSU on Saturday. LSU could surpass the Rebels if Ole Miss goes 0-2 on the week.

Johnny Jones has become the first LSU coach in history to have two 20 win seasons in his first three years. It took Dale Brown 8 years to win 20 games twice, Harry Rabenhorst 9 years, and John Brady 6 years to accomplish that feat (no other LSU coach has had two 20 win seasons). LSU is currently listed in 88 of 93 brackets (followed by and are putting themselves in great shape to move into the field with just a few more wins.

Let's not make the mistake in saying that LSU had a good win last night, Auburn is not a very good team, however, the Tiger's won in a fashion that both gives them confidence and the selection committee confidence that LSU has turned the corner.
Filed Under: LSU Basketball
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