L-S-U (15-10) at South Carolina (10-15)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday February 18th, 1:45 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Colonial Life Arena (18,000) -- Columbia, South Carolina. Television: SEC Network. Home Record: LSU 10-3, USC 9-6. Away Record: LSU 3-6, USC 1-7. Neutral Record: LSU 2-1, USC 0-2. Conference Record: LSU 5-6, USC 2-9. Series Record: South Carolina leads, 14-11.
GAME NOTES: The LSU Tigers will attempt to climb in the Southeastern Conference standings as they head to Colonial Life Arena to battle the South Carolina Gamecocks.
Today's contest is the only scheduled meeting between LSU and the Gamecocks this season. South Carolina holds 14-11 lead in the all-time series after its 64-56 in last season's only encounter.
LSU is 15-10 after its 69-67 overtime victory over Mississippi State on Tuesday. The Tigers' swarmed the court on the defensive end, and forced 21 turnovers to down the Bulldogs in the hard fought battle. Head coach Trent Johnson's team has been consistently wrecking havoc this season, as they are third in the SEC in steals per game (7.4). The Tigers are being outscored by 3.1 ppg in 2011-2012.
Justin Hamilton is pacing LSU with 13.7 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks per game. The junior big man has been consistent this season as he has scored in double-figures 20 times. Andre is the team's second leading scorer with 10.2 ppg. Ralston Turner came up big against Mississippi State on Tuesday, as he netted a team-high 17 points. Storm Warren was productive in the same contest, as he recorded a double-double of 10 points and 11 rebounds.
The Gamecocks ended their five-game losing streak their last time out with a 57-56 victory over the Georgia Bulldogs. South Carolina had its best defensive effort in league play, as it held the Bulldogs to 35.1 percent shooting in the battle. Despite being in the cellar of the SEC standings, South Carolina is still outscoring its opposition by an average of 2.4 ppg. Head coach Darrin Horn will hope to improve his team's record before the season's end as it comes into tonight with a 10-15 overall record and just a 2-9 mark in SEC play.
Malik Cooke, who leads the Gamecocks in scoring with 12.2 ppg, could make this a memorable occasion as he is only six points away from 1,000 for his career. Bruce Ellington is second on the team with a season average of 10.4 ppg. Anthony Gill, Damontre Harris, and Damien Leonard are all important components of South Carolina's rotation. Sophomore Brenton Williams has been giving solid efforts off the bench recently. Williams contributed eight points versus the Arkansas Razorbacks before scoring 10 points against Georgia.
While the Gamecocks' victory over Georgia was encouraging, they will face a much tougher test in LSU tonight. Hamilton should be able to dominate inside against the Gamecocks, as no one on South Carolina will be able to match up with him inside.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: LSU 70, South Carolina 65
02/18 10:37:31 ET