Basketball Defeats Texas A&M, 68-53, to Start 1-0 in Conference Play
Jordan Wright finished with a team-high 20 points and 10 rebounds.
BRYAN-COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The LSU Tigers picked a perfect time to break a 13-game road court losing streak by outscoring the Texas A&M Aggies, 38-21, in the final 20 minutes to win easily 68-53 Saturday night at Reed Arena.
LSU has now won three straight games and is 9-5 and 1-0 in the Southeastern Conference while A&M drops to 9-5 on the year and is 0-1 in the SEC.
The last time LSU outscored an opponent by at least 17 points in the second half on their home court was Feb. 26, 2005 at Auburn.
The 25.4 percent shooting by A&M is the second lowest field goal percentage by an LSU opponent on its home court in records that go back to 1965-66.
LSU’s last road win was in the 2022 season, ironically here at A&M.
The Tigers trailed by just two points after a first half in which they trailed for much of the first 20 minutes. But LSU never allowed A&M to get more than a five-point advantage in that opening half and was behind only on a foul that resulted in free throws in the final second of the half.
But in the second half the Tigers scored the first eight points of the second half, taking the lead at 34-32 and advancing to 38-32 in front. The opening 8-0 run came at the hands of a Jordan Wright free throw, a converted and-one from Jalen Cook and back-to-back layups from Wright and Jalen Reed.
The Aggies would tie the game at 42-42 with 14:48 to play but never got the lead away from LSU as an eventual 9-0 run put LSU up 55-44 at the 8:07 mark. LSU’s 9-0 run came courtesy of a Tyrell Ward three, Jordan Wright jumper, Hunter Dean layup and then Ward capped off the run with an emphatic two-handed dunk.
Texas A&M kept missing shots and LSU was hanging almost even or ahead in rebounds which allowed the Tigers to put the lead to double digits, 61-49, forcing Texas A&M to call their last timeout with 5:03 to play.
Jordan Wright led LSU with 20 points and 10 rebounds, while Jalen Cook was the only other one in double figures with 13 points, three assists and two steals. Wade Taylor IV led Texas A&M with 23 points, while Tyrece Radford had 11.
Wright finished in double figures for the 11th straight game. It was also his ninth career double-double.
LSU shot 40.3 percent (27-of-67) for the game with six made three-pointers. LSU didn’t shoot a lot of free throws, making 8-of-11.
A&M finished at 25.4 percent (15-of-59) from the field and was just 5-of-28 from the arc (17.9%). The Aggies were 18-of-26 at the free throw line.
LSU won the rebound battle, 46-40, and 14-13 on the offensive end. LSU had a 36-20 advantage in the paint and made a big dent in winning the game by going 18-3 over A&M in second chance points.
LSU’s biggest lead of the game came with 1:17 to play when the Tigers built a 68-53 advantage which was the final score.
The Tigers will open home SEC play on Tuesday night at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center against Vanderbilt at 8 p.m. Tickets for the game are available at LSUTix.net.
Post Game Quotes
Head Coach Matt McMahon
On being physical from start to finish…
“I thought the physicality and toughness was on full display, every area we’ve been trying to make improvements in. The strengths of this A&M team is their ability just to dominate you on the offensive glass, to destroy you at the free throw line and to win the turnover battle. And you know I just can’t say enough about our guy’s effort on the on the defensive glass. I thought our rim protection we contested even when we got beat guys came over and helped. We made them take some tough shots and then I really liked our composure on the offensive side of the ball. We didn’t shoot a great percentage but I thought we got good quality shots in the second half and guys did a tremendous job taking care of the ball.”
On what was the message to the team at the half…
“Our focus the whole time, is just competing your tail off, playing with great energy and effort and bringing toughness to every possession and I thought our guys did a great job of that. You know, we were a little concerned sometimes you see and we made a bad mistake there to end the half and sometimes that momentum carries over into the start of the second half. So the messaging was real simple we’ve got to just move on to the next play. We’re competing our butts off out here, let’s go out and get off to a great start. I agree with you, the first half we left a few points on the board, didn’t finish some plays, but you know did enough on the defensive side of the ball to give ourselves a chance going in just down two.”
On what this win means for the team…
“ That’s the ultimate goal in that we’ve gotten better and Coach Brady it kind of sounds strange, but our season kind of started over December 16th when we got Jalen Cook eligible and it changed the way we’re able to play. I think the ultimate quality of a good point guard is the ability to make everyone else around him better. I think he’s done that. I think we had tremendous leadership from Jordan Wright tonight. He goes for 20 and 10. You know we just knew coming into this game there were three stats where A&M just absolutely dominates their opponents. Number one is the rebounding, two is the free throw line where they did outplay us there and then the turnover battle, and we were solid in two of those three areas. If you would have told me we’d outscore them 18 to 3 in second-chance points, I would have lost everything I owned. But I was proud of our guys’ toughness and fight there.”
Guard Jalen Cook
On winning the rebounding battle…
“It was great. We attacked the boards. We kept them off the boards. They’re one of the best offensive rebounding teams in the country so it was big time for sure.”
On how the team as a whole made an impact on the game…
“It was an all-around team effort. The guys on the bench stepped up and took on the challenge. We knew coming into the game that it was going to be an all-around team effort, so we just have to go back to the drawing board and stay focused.”
On the chemistry between Jalen and Jordan Wright…
“Jo is an experienced guy. He’s good on the defensive and offensive end. I think playing with him, he’s a good guy to play with for sure.”