BRYAN-COLLEGE STATION, Texas – LSU was unable to stop the Texas A&M offense that continually scored in the lane and finished on the short end of a 69-56 decision at the hands of the Aggies Saturday night at Reed Arena.
The Tigers are now 12-3 on the season and 1-2 in the SEC heading into Tuesday’s 6 p.m. home game against Florida. The Aggies are now 2-0 in the league and 10-5 overall.
Texas A&M had a 42-10 advantage in points in the paint and shot 48.1 percent (26-of-54) for the game. LSU had success outside the arc, especially in the second half, hitting 9-of-22 three-point field goals (40.9%) but only made 8-of-27 shots from two-point range. Overall, LSU was at 34.7 for the game (17-of-49).
Adam Miller led LSU with 16 points on 5-of-10 shooting and 5-of-8 from distance. It was the second straight game he posted five treys. KJ Williams and Cam Hayes each had 10 points. Williams late in the first half picked up his fifth rebound of the game which was his 1,000th rebound of his collegiate career at both Murray State and LSU. He finished with eight on the night.
A&M was led in scoring by Julius Marble and Dexter Dennis who each finished with 17 points, while Tyrece Radford had 14 and Wade Taylor IV had 13.
The win by A&M snapped a 10-game winning streak in the series.
The Tigers were able to do some things early in the game, getting a couple of leads on three-point shots by Miller and Hayes. But LSU was never able to get anything going in the lane as they had the previous two games as LSU posted just two points in the paint in the opening 20 minutes.
The Aggies were able to get a couple of six-point runs in the half which would get the lead to eight points for Texas A&M, 22-14, with 6:13 to go in the opening stanza. The lead would reach 11 points at 28-17 with 3:45 to go before halftime and that margin held until halftime when LSU went to the dressing room down, 34-23.
The Tigers shot just 8-of-28 in the half, making 4-of-14 shots from both inside and outside the arc.
In the second half, the Aggies expanded the lead to 15 and the Tigers could never get closer than nine despite hitting 5-of-8 from distance in the final 20 minutes.
A&M finished with an 18-5 advantage in second chance points, with 12 offensive boards in a 38-27 rebound differential.
LSU Head Coach Matt McMahon Quotes from Postgame Radio Show
On the team’s performance…
“Great credit there to Texas A&M. We saw their physicality coming off their road win at Florida on Wednesday. I thought they played really well. It was a very physical game. We knew what was coming, but I didn’t have our guys ready and prepared to attack it accordingly. As we move forward, you give great credit to Texas A&M. I thought their domination of the painted area was a difference in the game. I like to look at it from more of a solution-oriented perspective. We’ve got to find a way to rebound the basketball. We’ve got to figure out a way to stop getting beat on straight line drives, and then when you’re struggling to rebound the ball, you can’t give the ball away and we gave it away too many times today on unforced turnovers. At the end of the day, you can carve it up however you want, but I’ve never seen a team win when they get outscored 42-10 in the paint. I’m surprised the game was that close actually, getting beat 42-10 in the paint. They finished at the rim. When you look at the numbers, they were around 60 percent with 22 two-point field goals made, while we go 8-27, 30 percent. Hard to win, especially on the road doing that.”
On putting Trae Hannibal in the starting lineup for tonight’s game and the offense…
“We needed Trae’s physicality on the floor and his ability to help us on the glass. At the beginning of the game, I really liked our ball movement offensively. I thought it led to some open looks. We didn’t convert quite at the level we wanted to. Credit to Texas A&M, I thought they did a good job of adjusting some coverages, they really switched and put two guys on KJ (Williams) and we were never able to really get him going there.”
On moving forward…
“As we all know, it’s a very unforgiving league, so we have got to move onto the next one, but we also have to find some solutions to give ourselves a chance to be in these games. To me, that starts with finding a way to improve our rebounding and to protect the paint in a better fashion. Whether that’s zone or doubling the post, whatever we need to get done to find some solutions, because what we tried today was not good enough.”