Three keys for Ole Miss against LSU
Though Ole Miss was down in Saturday’s home game against Auburn, the Rebels were not out of it. Head coach Andy Kennedy’s team stormed back from a 23-point, second-half deficit to defeat the Tigers, 90-84. It was a much-needed victory for Ole Miss that moved the team up in the Southeastern Conference standings.
With the win, combined with Tennessee losing at home to Georgia, Ole Miss (15-10, 6-6 SEC) is now in sixth place in the league and could possibly move up more if the Rebels are successful in their final six games.
Ole Miss is at home tonight night (8:00 p.m., SECN), hosting LSU, a team that is struggling on both ends of the court. The Tigers (9-15, 1-11 SEC) have lost 11 straight games, with their latest defeat occurring Saturday at home to a struggling Arkansas team who, itself, has lost two straight games to SEC teams with losing overall records (Missouri and Vanderbilt).
LSU’s 11-game skid is its longest in seven seasons, and 10 of those 11 losses have come in league play. The Tigers’ last win was January 4, 2017 at Missouri, and all but three of the defeats during the losing streak have been by double figures.
Despite the way the Tigers have played, however, Ole Miss can’t afford to overlook LSU as the Tigers will look to spoil the Rebels’ momentum.
Three keys for Ole Miss against LSU
1. Contain LSU’s sophomore guard Antonio Blakeney
Sophomore guard Antonio Blakeney leads LSU in scoring with 16.5 points per game, and he has knocked down a team-best 39 3-pointers. Blakeney has been the Tigers’ leading scorer in 13 of the team’s 24 games this season and is averaging 13.5 field goal attempts a game, while making an average of 6.2.
LSU has three other players who are scoring double figures, but limiting Blakeney will go a long way towards hindering the Tigers’ scoring offense.
2. Force turnovers
On Saturday against Auburn, Ole Miss turned 20 Tiger turnovers into 26 points. For the season, the Rebels are averaging 13.96 turnovers forced a game. LSU is 14th in the SEC in turnovers, committing 14.7 a game. In their loss to the Razorbacks, the Tigers committed 16 turnovers, which led to 25 points for Arkansas.
3. Dominate the glass
Ole Miss will need to control the boards against LSU. The Tigers enter Tuesday night’s contest averaging 37.2 rebounds a game, not too far from the Rebels’ average of 39.3. LSU out-rebounded the Razorbacks, 50-30, in its last game, while Ole Miss won the rebounding battle against Auburn, 39-38. Twenty-eight of the Rebels’ boards came on the defensive end.
Against Arkansas, the Tigers grabbed 18 offensive rebounds, which led to 21 second-chance points. Ole Miss’ frontcourt staying in position on the defensive end as the basketball comes off the rim could limit a lot of offensive success for LSU.
Ole Miss and LSU will tip off at 8:00 p.m. (CT) at The Pavilion at Ole Miss. The game will be televised on the SEC Network, with Mike Morgan calling the play-by-play and Dane Bradshaw handling analyst duties.
LSU leads the series 120-87; however, the Rebels lead 54-34 in games played in Oxford. LSU enters tonight on a three-game winning streak against Ole Miss, with the Tigers’ most recent win coming in a 90-81 contest on January 13, 2016.
(Feature image credit: Josh McCoy, Ole Miss Athletics)
Courtney is from Memphis and received his Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts from the University of Memphis in May of 2014. He began his journalism career covering the Memphis Tigers Men’s basketball team, which landed him an intern position on 730 Yahoo Sports Radio and a position with Rivals.com. A freelance writer for the Associated Press, Courtney is also a member of The Rebel Walk team and reports regularly on Ole Miss football and basketball. Courtney, the father of a six-year old girl named Soniyah, prefers to cover NCAA basketball and football, but is happy to report on any other sport that comes his way.