AUBURN, Ala. — Chatting in the serene confines of LSU's practice facility early in the week, a disquieting theme emerged surrounding the Southeastern Conference opener at Auburn.
Ominously, LSU framed it as a hunt for blood, a macabre meeting between two middle-tier programs hunting for early respect in the conference race.
Ultimately, Auburn nicked LSU early and applied the definitive gash midway through the second half with a 14-2 run in a 68-63 victory in front of an announced 6,355 at Auburn Arena, ending a string of five-consecutive losses to open conference play.
"When they had the chance, they put the hammer down on us," LSU forward Johnny O'Bryant said. "We couldn't swing back."
Guard Charles Carmouche paced LSU (9-3, 0-1 SEC) with 16 points, but needed a 5-of-16 outing to do it.
Backcourt duo Anthony Hickey, starting in place of injured Corban Collins, and Andre Stringer each added 13 points, while Hickey doled out four assists and nabbed three steals.