Da Boot Sports
By: Terrill J. Weil
BATON ROUGE, LA - LSU played host to Texas A&M on Saturday hoping to sweep the Aggies on the season. But A&M had other plans, as they held on to defeat the Tigers, 73-69 in front of 9.085 fans in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.
In a close game, it was rebounding and second chance points that did LSU in. Texas A&M owned the glass all game long, out-rebounding LSU, 48-34 allowing them to score 27 second chance points.
The Aggies have been a poor three point shooting team all season, but had a good day from behind the arc, sinking ten huge three pointers to help down the Bayou Bengals.
Jordan Wright lead the Tigers with a double-double, scoring 15 points while grabbing 10 rebounds. Jalen Cook finished with 12 points. Mike Williams III finished with 11 points, while Jalen Reed and Tyrell Ward added 10 points each.
“Hard fought college basketball game. Great credit to Texas A&M for doing the things they needed to do to get the win." Matt McMahon said. "Obviously, they flipped the script on us from the first matchup where we were 18-to-three in second-chance points in our favor. Today, 27-to-zero was obviously the difference in the game. If you look at our defensive effort, I thought our energy and effort, all of that was great. Probably held them in their first shot of possession somewhere around 29-30% from the floor, but could not finish the possessions with rebounds, especially there in the second half. We have been able to turn people over averaging 10 steals a game; we only had one today. We did not turn it over a lot, but we were only able to force six there. Credit to them for getting the win here today.”
With Texas A&M leading 72-69 with 12.6 seconds remaining, the Tigers took their last opportunity to try and force overtime. Jalen Cook would miss a three pointer attempt with an Aggie in his face. Soloman Washington was foul after grabbing the rebound for A&M. Washington sank both of his free throws to clinch the game for Texas A&M.
The Tigers started the contest with a 9-0 run over the first four minutes, thanks to solid defense and nice offensive play before A&M finally hit their first basket at the 15:42 mark.
The Aggies survived the early LSU run by outscoring LSU 24-17 over the next ten and a half minutes, to tie the game at 26-26.
But LSU would outscore Texas A&M, 9-7 over the final five minutes of the first half to lead 35-33 at the halftime break.
Jordan Wright lead the Tigers at the break with 10 points. Jalen Cook added 7 while Mike Williams III scored 6 and Tyrell Ward finished with 5.
In the first half LSU shot 13-31 from the floor for 42%.. They hit 6-17 from behind the three point arc for 35% and made 3-4 from the charity stripe for 75%. LSU forced 4 Texas A&M turnovers while committing 3. The Aggies won the first half rebound battle, 21-19.
LSU opened the second half with a quick three pointer by Jalen Reed but A&M responded going on a 9-0 run to take their largest lead of the game, 42-38 with 17:32 left on the clock.
Trailing 47-41 with 14:54 left, the Tigers would go on a 11-4 run to retake the lead, 52-51 at the 12:18 mark.
Texas A&M continued to own the boards, scoring several second chance points off of offensive rebounds, helping them go on 8-2 run over the next four minutes taking a 59-54 lead.
In a game of runs, LSU took advantage of their next one, grabbing the lead back while going on a 11-4 run to go up 65-63 at the 6:27 mark.
With the game even at 67-67, A&M's Wade Taylor hit a three pointer to put the Aggies up, 70-67 with 2:56 left in the contest.
From there LSU struggled offensively, leading to the late game dramatics with Texas A&M taking the victory.
With the loss, LSU is now 11-7 overall and fall to 3-2 in SEC play.
Next up, the Tigers will travel to Athens to take on the Georgia Bulldogs on Wednesday, January 24th. Tipoff is set for 5:30pm CST and the game will be carried on the SEC Network.
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