LSU and UT Arlington had hectic starts to their seasons.
Now they’ve had a chance to catch their breath before they meet in a nonconference game Friday night in Baton Rouge, La.
The Tigers (6-1) played their first seven games in a span of 19 days, which included three games in the Cayman Islands Classic prior to Thanksgiving. They returned home to defeat Wofford 78-75 last Sunday, giving them a four-day break before the game against the Mavericks (4-4).
“It has really been a long 19 days,” LSU coach Matt McMahon said.
The Tigers shook off a disappointing 61-59 loss to Kansas State in the championship game in the Caymans to fight off a tough Wofford team in a game that featured eight ties and 19 lead changes.
LSU rallied after falling behind 73-68 with 3:40 remaining. Even after taking a three-point lead the Tigers had to withstand three Wofford attempts at tying 3-pointers in the final 12 seconds. Adam Miller (team-high 17.7 ppg) posted 26 points to lead LSU.
“On a day where I don’t think we played near our best, I thought our defense down the stretch was terrific,” McMahon said. “We were able to make enough plays to get the win.”
UTA was similarly busy — playing its first seven games in 17 days, a stretch that included three games in the Gulf Coast Showcase.
The Mavericks took advantage of Division III Howard Payne in a 99-41 win Monday, giving them three days off before facing the Tigers.
“We scheduled Howard Payne on a Monday night with the purpose of knowing that we would probably win the game, but we could blow some bad air out … rest some guys if we needed to rest them, and we were able to do all those things,” Mavericks coach Greg Young said.
“No easy ones left — that’s for sure. Fixing to go through a gauntlet for the last five in the nonconference.”
UTA plays North Texas, Texas State, San Francisco and Cal before beginning Western Athletic Conference play.
–Field Level Media