LSU Gold

Basketball Falls Short Against No. 19 Texas, 96-85

Jordan Wright finished the game with a career-high 33 points.

Basketball Falls Short Against No. 19 Texas, 96-85

HOUSTON, Texas – LSU’s Jordan Wright scored a career-high 33 points and Jalen Cook made his long-awaited debut for the Tigers but a hot-shooting Texas team took control of the contest in the first half as the No. 19 Longhorns defeated the Tigers 96-85 in The Halal Guys Showcase at the Toyota Center on Saturday.

Wright was 9-of-14 from the field, 5-of-7 three-pointers and a perfect 10-of-10 at the free throw line in 31 minutes.

Cook got the decision he needed with the injunction that allows multi-transfer players to participate and he played 32 minutes off the bench, making 5-of-15 field goals, three treys to finish with 13 points, six assists and just one turnover.

In fact, three double-figure scorers came off the Tiger bench as besides Cook, Derek Fountain scored 11 in 32 minutes, hitting 6-of-9 from the field, while Hunter Dean had his best LSU game by far with 11 points, hitting four field goals in 28 minutes. In all with Tyrell War’s seven points and Trae Hannibal’s four, the LSU bench scored 48 points.

Texas shot 60.6 percent in the opening 20 minutes, hitting 20-of-33 field goals and 6-of-9 from distance. Add to that 10-of-13 free throws and it was a 56-point outburst for the Longhorns.

LSU contributed to the 56-37 halftime margin with nine first-half turnovers that led to 15 points off turnovers for the Longhorns.

Max Abmas led Texas with 20 points and seven assists, while Tyrese Hunter added 19 points and Dylan Disu had 17. Dillon Mitchell had a double double with 12 points and 10 rebounds.

In the second half, for the second straight game, the Tigers showed their potential, chipping into the Texas advantage as Wright, who had 31 points in the second half alone, began to take control.

The Tigers were able to whittle the 19-point lead down to 12 a couple of times in the first six minutes of the second half. Down 70-56, Wright made two free throws, hit a three and then had a steal and a lay-in to cut the Texas lead to just seven, 70-63, with 9:34 to play in the game.

Then came a pivotal point for the Tigers as on the next Texas possession, four fouls on LSU were called in a 57-second period and when it appeared LSU had gotten the ball back, Derek Fountain was grabbed by a Texas defender and a jump ball was called. Following that a technical was called on the LSU bench resulting in two free throws and the Tigers were never really able to regain the momentum.

The Tigers shot 53.6 percent in the second half (15-of-28) and 7-of-12 from distance to finish the game at 46.0 percent (29-of-63) and 11-of-25 from the arc (44.0%). LSU was 16-of-23 from the line (69.6%). Texas finished the game at 32-of-59 (54.2%) and 10-of-20 from distance. The Longhorns were 22-of-25 at the charity line.