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Road skid over, LSU back home to tangle with Vanderbilt

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LSU ended a 13-game road losing streak when it beat Texas A&M 68-53 in its SEC opener Saturday.

Now the Tigers will try to match their conference victory total from last season when they host Vanderbilt on Tuesday night in Baton Rouge, La.

LSU (9-5, 1-0 SEC) has won three straight games, a streak that started with the second game since starting point guard Jalen Cook became eligible. Cook had 13 points, three assists and two steals against the Aggies.

“Our season kind of started over Dec. 16 when we got Jalen Cook eligible and it changed the way we’re able to play,” Tigers coach Matt McMahon said. “I think the ultimate quality of a good point guard is the ability to make everyone else around him better. I think he’s done that.”

Trailing by two at halftime, LSU dominated the second half, outscoring Texas A&M 38-21.

“I thought the physicality and toughness was on full display, every area we’ve been trying to make improvements in,” McMahon said. “Our focus is just competing your tail off, playing with great energy and effort and bringing toughness to every possession.”

The Commodores (5-9, 0-1) lost at home to Alabama 78-75 in their SEC opener Saturday. They trailed by as many as 18 points before getting as close as two.

Vanderbilt went 11-7 in SEC play after going 7-6 in nonconference play last season. Now it’s hoping for a similar turnaround.

“We lost a lot of experience with some of the guys from last year,” Commodores coach Jerry Stackhouse said.

Vanderbilt has had a handful of players out with injuries. Tyrin Lawrence missed four games earlier in the season because of a foot injury but scored 20 points against the Crimson Tide, tied with Jason Rivera-Torres for the team lead.

“It was probably his second game really playing some pretty good basketball,” Stackhouse said of Lawrence. “It’s still not as efficient as we need for him to be but he’s trending in the right direction.”

–Field Level Media

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