LSU surges past Ole Miss to improve to 3-1 in SEC _lowres

Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy, center, is the "Dean of Coaches" in the Southeastern Conference. Kennedy, who is in his 12th season with the Rebels, is 12-8 against LSU during his tenure in Oxford.

Advocate staff file photo by Hilary Scheinuk

Opening Tip is posted about five hours before each game.

General Info

• What: Ole Miss (11-13, 4-7 SEC) at LSU (13-10, 4-7 SEC)

• When: 3 p.m. Saturday

• Where: Pete Maravich Assembly Center

• All-time series: LSU leads 120-88

• Last meeting: Ole Miss 96, LSU 76 (Feb. 14, 2017 in Oxford, Miss.)

• Streaking: Ole Miss (L4), LSU (L1)

• TV: ESPNU (Taylor Zarzour, play-by-play; Kyle Macy, analyst)

• Online: ESPN.com/watch

• Radio: WDGL-FM, 98.1; WWWL-AM, 1350; KLWB-FM, 103.7 (Chris Blair, play-by-play; John Brady, analyst)

• In game Twitter updates: @MicklesAdvocate, @RabalaisAdv

• Up next: at Alabama, 8 p.m. Tuesday (SEC Network)

The Storyline

Even though they’re both 4-7 in SEC play heading into today’s game, no one has to tell LSU coach Will Wade and Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy just how important their contest is. The Tigers and Rebels are among four teams (along with Georgia and South Carolina) tied for 10th place in the league race with six games remaining after today. While none of those teams will have a shot at winning the regular-season title, they’re all jockeying for seeding for the SEC tournament. Going into today’s play, only two games separate fourth place from 13th place. Both teams have struggled lately, but a win today would help the winner at least keep pace and remain relevant in the league going into the final one-third of the 18-game conference schedule. Since starting 2-1 with a pair of road wins, LSU has been terribly inconsistent. The Tigers lost three games in a row, then beat Texas A&M for the second time in 18 days before losing twice. They beat Arkansas again last Saturday and then fell to Florida on the road. Ole Miss also started nicely in league play with a 3-2 mark, but has won only once since then. Throw in a setback at Texas in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge, and, with a 1-6 record since getting past Florida on Jan. 13, it’s easy to see why the Rebels are also desperate for a win.

Starting Five

• HELLO AGAIN: LSU and Ole Miss meet on the basketball court for the 209th time in a series that dates to 1910 when the Tigers beat the Rebels 39-14. The only school LSU has played more is Mississippi State (210 meetings).

• UNUSUAL SPOT: Ole Miss is two games under .500 for the first time in Andy Kennedy’s 12 seasons as the Rebels coach. The last time they were two games under .500 was at the conclusion of the 2005-06 season.

• ‘THE DEAN’: The affable Kennedy, who turns 50 on March 13, is the dean of SEC men’s basketball coaches. LSU first-year coach Will Wade will be the 39th SEC coach Kennedy has faced during his tenure in Oxford. Kennedy is 12-8 against LSU.

• TOUGH ROAD: Ole Miss is 0-5 in the SEC away from home. The Rebels have fallen at Auburn, Tennessee, Arkansas, Texas A&M and Georgia; LSU won at A&M and Arkansas, but also lost at Auburn and Tennessee.

• TOUGH ROAD II: Vanderbilt (0-6) and Ole Miss are the only SEC schools to be winless on the road in league play. All told, road teams are only 25-52, winning just 32.5 percent of the time in the conference.

By the numbers

11-2: LSU’s record this season when the Tigers have the lead with five minutes remaining in the game.

The Lineups

Ole Miss Rebels (11-13, 4-7 SEC)

Probable starters

• G Deandre Burnett, 6-2, Sr., 14.4 ppg, 4.4 apg

• G Breein Tyree, 6-2, Jr., 9.7 ppg, 2.8 apg

• G Terence Davis, 6-4, Jr., 13.8 ppg, 6.1 rpg

• F Marcanvic Hymon, 6-7, Sr., 4.9 ppg, 5.3 rpg

• F Bruce Stevens, 6-8, Jr., 10.1 ppg, 4.7 rpg

Key reserves

• G Markel Crawford, 6-4, Sr., 9.8 ppg, 2.3 rpg

• C Dominik Olejniczak, 7-0, So., 4.5 ppg, 3.0 rpg

• F Justas Furmanavicus, 6-7, Sr., 3.3 ppg, 3.0 rpg

LSU Tigers (13-10, 4-7 SEC)

Probable starters

• G Tremont Waters, 5-11, Fr., 15.0 ppg, 5.9 apg

• G Skylar Mays, 6-4, So., 10.7 ppg, 3.7 rpg

• G Daryl Edwards, 6-3, Jr., 6.5 ppg, 1.4 rpg

• F Aaron Epps, 6-10, Sr., 9.8 ppg, 5.9 rpg

• F Duop Reath, 6-11, Sr., 13.7 ppg, 5.4 rpg

Key reserves

• G Brandon Sampson, 6-5, Jr., 8.2 ppg, 2.4 rpg

• F Wayde Sims, 6-6, So., 5.6 ppg, 3.2 rpg

• G Randy Onwuasor, 6-3, Sr., 4.7 ppg, 1.9 rpg

Follow Sheldon Mickles on Twitter, @MicklesAdvocate.