BATON ROUGE – One day after a number of LSU students took the next step to receive their LSU diplomas at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center, the LSU men’s basketball team looks to take another forward step toward the start of conference play with a Saturday night contest with Winthrop.

The Tigers and Eagles are set to meet at 6 p.m. at the Maravich Center in a game to be broadcast on the affiliates of the LSU Sports Radio Network (Guaranty Media flagship Eagle 98.1 FM in Baton Rouge) with the Voice of the Tigers Chris Blair and former LSU basketball coach John Brady on the call. Jonathan Yardley and Joe Klein will call the broadcast on the SEC Network.

Tickets are available online at LSUTix.net and the “Be A Student” promotion continues as fans can purchase a $15 ticket to sit in the student section and also get a hot dog, nachos and a 22-ounce soft drink as part of the deal. That ticket is available online at LSUTix.net. Tickets may also be purchased in person starting one hour prior to tip at the upper concourse ticket windows of the Maravich Center.

With the game Saturday and then a contest against East Tennessee State on Dec. 21, LSU looks to continue taking steps forward toward the opening of Southeastern Conference play on Dec. 28 against Arkansas. LSU is 9-1 and appeared to be moving in a forward direction in its last two games, a 72-70 win over Wake Forest in Atlanta and Tuesday’s home victory, 67-57, over North Carolina Central.

LSU has tinkered with its lineup the last couple of games, adding Mississippi State junior transfer Derek Fountain to the mix in the Wake Forest games, and then Cam Hayes, a junior transfer from NC State, in the NCCU game to join 10 game starters Justice Hill, KJ Williams and Adam Miller.

Fountain has had good numbers for the Tigers of late and a run of plus/minus numbers of +13, +15, +13 and +10 over the last four games. He had his first college double double against NCCU Tuesday of 17 points and 14 rebounds.

Hayes has posted double figures in the last two games with 13 versus Wake Forest and 14 against NCCU, while hitting 11-of-20 from the field with four treys.

According to Evan Miya, Cam Hays, Derek Fountain and Williams (who has had double doubles in the last two games) are the sixth-best three-man lineup in the country based on Adjusted Team Efficiency margin. Williams is averaging 18.6 points, 8.1 rebounds per game and 1.6 steals.

Winthrop comes in with a 5-6 record after an 82-67 loss at Furman on Dec. 10. The Eagles are in the middle of a four-game road trip and the team is looking to snap a six-game non-conference road losing streak.

Forward Kelton Talford leads the Eagles with 17.9 points and 7.8 rebounds, shooting 76.1 percent from the field. Guard Sin’cere McMahon averages 14.4 points and Cory Hightower is at 12.9 points.

(Press release provided by LSU Athletics)