LSU has plummeted into sole possession of last place in the Southeastern Conference.
South Carolina will try to avoid joining the Tigers at the bottom when the teams meet Saturday afternoon in Baton Rouge, La.
LSU (12-14, 1-12 SEC) has lost 13 consecutive games after a 65-63 defeat at Georgia on Tuesday. The Tigers haven’t won since beating then-No. 9 Arkansas 60-57 in their SEC opener on Dec. 28.
“It’s my fault,” LSU coach Matt McMahon said. “I wish I could have done a better job for them down the stretch.”
KJ Williams’ basket gave the Tigers a 63-62 lead with 11.2 seconds left on Tuesday, but the Bulldogs pushed the ball up the court and Justin Hill lofted a layup over Williams that put Georgia back on top. After a turnover and one free throw by the Bulldogs, LSU’s Tyrell Ward missed a desperation shot as time expired.
“Proud of our guys’ fight,” McMahon said. “I thought we really competed at a much higher level than we did (in the Tigers’ 74-62 loss to Texas A&M last Saturday) and gave ourselves a chance.”
South Carolina (9-17, 2-11) moved ahead of LSU when it snapped an eight-game losing skid with a 64-61 win over Ole Miss last Saturday. But the Gamecocks followed that up with a 75-64 home loss versus Vanderbilt on Tuesday.
Freshman GG Jackson, the Gamecocks’ leading scorer (15.2 points per game) has become less of a factor, coming off the bench in the last three games. He played a season-low 12 minutes against Ole Miss and just 16 against Vanderbilt.
Forward Josh Gray led South Carolina with 12 boards against Vanderbilt, marking his fifth game in the last seven that he has a double-digit rebounding total.
“I think he has just found his niche,” Gamecocks coach Lamont Paris said of Gray. “He’s found something that he can do that really helps us. I think it’s really sparked his confidence.”
–Field Level Media