KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee hits the road for the final time during the regular season, traveling to face LSU on Wednesday. Tipoff is slated for 7 p.m. ET on the SEC Network Alternate channel.
- Opponent: LSU
- Date: Wednesday, March 1
- Tipoff: 7 p.m. ET
- Venue: Pete Maravich Assembly Center
- TV: SEC Network Alt. | SEC Network +
- Radio: Vol Network
- Online: Live Audio , Live Stats
Tennessee (15-14, 7-9 SEC)
LSU (9-19, 1-15 SEC)
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With only two games remaining in the regular season, the Vols (15-14, 7-9 SEC) head to Baton Rouge looking to get back on track before next week's SEC Tournament. UT has dropped two straight -- falling to Vanderbilt and South Carolina last week -- and is battling through one of its most difficult offensive stretches of the season. Tennessee has been held to its lowest point total of the season in back-to-back games, finishing with 56 points against Vandy and only 55 against the Gamecocks.
Senior Robert Hubbs III (14.4 ppg) was the only Vol to finish in double figures at South Carolina, posting 16 points. The team's leading scorer for the season, Hubbs also surpassed 1,000 points for his career last week during another 16-point performance against Vanderbilt.
True freshman Grant Williams (12.7 ppg), who leads the team in rebounds (5.6 rpg) and blocked shots (1.8 bpg), is the only other Vol averaging double figures. The 6-5 Williams has committed to the glass over the last three games, averaging a team-high 7.7 rpg. Against Vanderbilt, Williams posted his second double-double of the season with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
While seven active Vols are currently averaging between 14.2 and 22.6 minutes per game, the rotation has tightened over the last three games. In that span, four Vols -- Hubbs, Williams, Shembari Phillips and Admiral Schofield -- are averaging more than 30.0 mpg while no other player has seen more than 17.3 mpg in that span.
Tennessee and LSU are meeting for the first time this season.
- Overall: UT leads, 64-45
- In Knoxville: UT leads, 30-17
- In Baton Rouge: UT leads, 26-24
- Neutral Sites: UT leads, 8-4
- Current Streak: LSU has won one
- Last Meeting: LSU won, 84-75, in Nashville, 3/11/16
- Rick Barnes vs. LSU: 3-3
- Rick Barnes vs. Johnny Jones: Barnes leads, 3-1
A WIN WOULD ...
- Snap Tennessee’s two-game losing skid.
- Stand as Tennessee’s 16th victory of the season, exceeding last season’s 34-game win total of 15.
- Give the Vols five true road wins this season.
- Give Tennessee six straight wins over the Tigers in Baton Rouge. UT’s last loss at the PMAC came in 2006).
- LSU (9-19, 1-15 SEC) is coming off a narrow 82-80 defeat to Georgia on Saturday.
- The Tigers trailed by as many as 17 in the first half and as many as 13 in the second half before eventually taking an 80-77 lead with under a minute to play. A frantic final minute saw Georgia erase the deficit and seal the win on two free throws with less than two seconds on the clock.
- The Tigers were led by 20 points from guard Antonio Blakeney. Fellow guard Brandon Sampson finished with 15 points, six rebounds and six assists while freshman Skylar Mays added 15 points of his own.
- Blakeney, a sophomore out of Sarasota, Fla., is LSU’s leading scorer this season at 17.9 ppg—good for fifth in the SEC. Junior forward Duop Reath, who stands 6-10, comes next at 12.3 ppg and a team-high 6.2 rpg. Sampson, a sophomore, rounds out the Tigers’ double-digit scorers, averaging 11.3 ppg.
- Blakeney has logged heavy minutes this season. He currently stands as one of five SEC players averaging more than 33.0 mpg at this late point in the year.
- Mays, a 6-4 guard out of Baton Rouge, La., is averaging a team-high 3.7 apg. That figure is good for 10th in the SEC and second among SEC freshmen.
- LSU ranks in the upper half of the conference when it comes to scoring. The Tigers are averaging 75.0 ppg this season—ranked seventh in the SEC—and that figure increases slightly to 75.5 ppg in just SEC play. That number is the sixth-best in the league.
- The Tigers’ are also among the league leaders as it relates to field goal percentage. LSU ranks fourth in the SEC, shooting 45.3 percent from the field this season
- Head coach Johnny Jones is in his fifth season at the helm of his alma mater. Jones, who also spent 11 seasons at North Texas and a lone year at Memphis, holds a career record 294-232 (.559), including an 89-70 (.560) mark at LSU.
MEMORABLE VOL PERFORMANCES AGAINST LSU
- Knoxville native Doug Roth blocked a school-record six shots vs. LSU on Jan. 11, 1989, lifting UT to a 100-96 win over the Tigers in Knoxville.
- Anthony Richardson went 14-for-14 from the free-throw line, the best charity-stripe performance in school history, at LSU on Jan. 12, 1985. But the Vols fell that day by a score of 75-65.
- Ron Widby set UT’s single-game scoring record, which stood for 20 years, against LSU on March 4, 1967, scoring 50 points on 19-of-39 shooting (both also single-game records) and 12-of-14 from the charity strip. UT won 87-60 in Knoxville.
LAST MEETING WITH LSU
- Tennessee’s postseason run came to an end on March 11, 2016, with an 84-75 loss to LSU in the quarterfinals of the SEC Men’s Basketball Tournament at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville.
- After winning its first two games of the tournament, UT could not withstand a late-scoring surge by LSU.
- Tennessee and LSU were neck and neck deep into the second half. Vols freshman Admiral Schofield hit a jumper to tie the game 59-59 with 5:51 left, but LSU answered with a 10-0 run, capped by 3-pointer by Tim Quarterman with 3:26 on the clock.
- Tennessee senior Devon Baulkman cut the lead to seven points at 76-69 with three free throws with 58 seconds left, but LSU held on for the victory.
- Junior Robert Hubbs III and sophomore Detrick Mostella (no longer with the team) both scored 19 points to lead the Vols, with Hubbs shooting 8-of-11 from the field. Baulkman added 13 points.
- Seniors Armani Moore and Derek Reese paced the Vols with six rebounds each. Moore led all players in assists, dishing out a career-high eight dimes.
- The Vols had an offensive spike of their own by closing out the first half on a 16-6 run. Mostella hit a jumper to give UT a 33-32 lead going into halftime.
- Mostella averaged 17.3 points per game during the Vols’ three-game stay at the SEC Tournament.
- With the loss, Tennessee ended its first season under head coach Rick Barnes at 15-19.
SENIOR DAY SPOILERS
- In nine of the past 11 years, Tennessee has gone on the road at the end of the regular season and spoiled Senior Day for an SEC opponent. That included nine straight wins from 2006-14.
|March 1, 2016||at Vanderbilt||L, 86-69|
|March 5, 2014||at Auburn||W, 82-54|
|March 6, 2013||at Auburn||W, 82-75|
|Feb. 29, 2012||at LSU||W, 74-69 (OT)|
|March 3, 2011||at South Carolina||W, 73-69|
|March 6, 2010||at Mississippi State||W, 75-69|
|March 5, 2009||at South Carolina||W, 86-70|
|March 5, 2008||at Florida||W, 89-86|
|March 3, 2007||at Georgia||W, 71-65|
|March 4, 2006||at Vanderbilt||W, 68-59|
TENNESSEE HAS WON FIVE STRAIGHT IN BATON ROUGE
- Tennessee enters Wednesday’s showdown with LSU looking to extend its current win streak in Baton Rouge to six games.
- The streak spans nearly a decade, and UT’s average margin of victory is 9.0 points.
|Jan. 14, 2006||L, 88-74||-14|
|Feb. 9, 2008||W, 47-45||+2|
|Feb. 4, 2010||W, 59-54||+5|
|Feb. 29, 2012||W, 74-69 (OT)||+5|
|Jan. 7, 2014||W, 68-50||+18|
|March 4, 2015||W, 78-63||+15|
VOLS NEUTRALIZED THE PISTOL
- The Volunteers held LSU legend Pete Maravich to 21.2 points below his career scoring average in six games against “The Pistol.”
- Maravich averaged an astounding 44.2 points per game as a Tiger. But his career average against Tennessee was 23.0 ppg.
ONE WIN NEEDED FOR TENNESSEE TO EXCEED LAST YEAR’S TOTAL
- In 34 total games last season, Rick Barnes’ first UT squad managed 15 victories. A win over LSU Wednesday would give this year’s team 16 total wins with one regular-season game left.
- A victory over the Tigers also would give the Vols their eighth SEC win this season (six last year).
BOWDEN COULD PROVIDE BOOST
- After missing nearly three full games due to illness, true freshman wing Jordan Bowden may return to practice this week and could provide a boost to the struggling Tennessee backcourt.
- Bowden is averaging 7.5 points and 2.8 rebounds in 22.2 minutes per game during SEC play. He is also shooting .319 from 3-point range in league games.
- The Knoxville native has started 26 of the 27 games in which he’s appeared, and he leads the Vols with 0.9 steals per game.
- Tennessee’s freshmen have combined to score 1,028 points this season, which are the most by a group of Vols freshmen since the 2006-07 campaign.
- The 2006-07 freshmen totaled 1,119 points in 35 games: Wayne Chism (317), Duke Crews (294), Marques Johnson (8), Ramar Smith (376) and Josh Tabb (124).
- Those two freshman classes are the only two in program history to exceed 1,000 points.
- Tennessee returns home for the regular season finale, playing host to Alabama on Saturday at Thompson-Boling Arena (1 p.m. ET, SEC Network.
- A Senior Day ceremony honoring Lew Evans and Robert Hubbs III will take place prior to tipoff.