Streaking is back in style in Southeastern Conference basketball, but Vanderbilt and LSU are going about it in different ways.
On Wednesday, Vanderbilt (15-12, 8-6 SEC) will travel to Baton Rouge, La., where it will face LSU (12-15, 1-13) with both squads carrying sizable streaks.
On one side, the Commodores are trending in the right direction.
Coach Jerry Stackhouse’s group has won five straight, which ties it with No. 25 Texas A&M for the longest active stretch in the SEC. The five-game winning streak is Vanderbilt’s longest since 2015.
The impressive run includes beating Auburn for the first time in six meetings.
Big man Liam Robbins had 24 points and 12 rebounds, and guard Ezra Manjon’s high layup off the backboard with one second left ultimately beat Auburn 67-65 on Saturday.
A three-year player at UC Davis, Manjon said the basketball nation needs to be on notice for his new school.
“We’re back, and we’re coming for everybody,” said Manjon, who is averaging 8.7 points and 3.7 assists per game. “You guys need to look out for Vanderbilt.”
The victory put the Commodores in a fourth-place tie with Auburn, only one game behind third-place Tennessee and Kentucky.
After winning 11 of 12 non-conference games, LSU opened SEC play by beating then-No. 9 Arkansas Razorbacks 60-57 on Dec. 28 at home.
However, it has been all downhill since the calendar flipped to 2023.
The Bayou Bengals have dropped 14 straight, starting with a 74-71 loss to Kentucky on Jan. 3. Also in that skid on Jan. 28 was a 76-68 setback against Texas Tech in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge.
On Saturday, hot-shooting South Carolina netted 15 of 32 shots (46.9 percent) from long distance. The Gamecocks went on to win 82-73 for their first win at LSU since 2017.
“(South Carolina) had great energy and shot the ball incredibly well from the three-point line and that was ultimately the difference in the game,” LSU coach Matt McMahon said. “You look at a lot of the other statistical categories that were fairly favorable to us, but we were minus-24 points from behind the three-point line.”
The Tigers’ Cam Hayes tied a career high with 25 points and added eight rebounds in the setback.
–Field Level Media