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No. 7 LSU Hosts Texas A&M On Thursday

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No. 7 LSU Hosts Texas A&M On Thursday

BATON ROUGE – No. 7 LSU (15-1, 2-0) will put its nation-leading 15 game win streak on the line Thursday at 7 p.m. CT when the Tigers host Texas A&M (13-2, 1-1) in the PMAC in a matchup of the nation’s top scoring offense in LSU and the nation’s top scoring defense in Texas A&M.

Thursday’s game will be LSU’s final game that is not on a linear television network. It will stream on the SEC Network + with Lyn Rollins and Victor Howell. Patrick Wright and Shaeeta Williams will call the game on the LSU Sports Radio Network, 107.3 FM in Baton Rouge.

LSU began SEC play with two wins last week over Missouri and at Ole Miss. The Tigers scored the ball well in both games to maintain the nation’s top scoring offense (94.2 points per game) but allowed both Missouri and Ole Miss to score above their average as LSU looks to shore up its defense.

“What I do like, it’s like on-the-job training, we’re winning ball games and learning,” Coach Kim Mulley said. “Most of the time you lose ball games, and you have to learn. We’re winning ballgames and learning and getting better. We’re addressing it with them. There aren’t any secrets in the film room.”

All five of LSU’s starters average in double figures as the Tigers have plenty of offensive talent at all positions. LSU had four players with 20-point games to open its conference slate. But that starting group has only played seven games together as they look to tighten up their defensive chemistry. LSU’s scoring defense (60.4 ppg) and field goal percentage defense (36.5) have necessary improvements, but the Tigers also rank in the top-10 nationally and atop the SEC in steals (12.8 per game) and forced turnovers (23.7 per game).

Mikaylah Williams was named SEC Freshman of the Week for the second time this season on Tuesday as her all-around game shined bright through the first two conference games. Her shooting splits for the season are 51-46-86. At Ole Miss she also had a career-high four steals.

Texas A&M’s bread and butter is its defense. The Aggies own the nation’s top scoring defense (48.9 points per game) and have not allowed over 65 points since Nov. 16 in a loss at Purdue. Texas A&M limits opponents to shoot 31.4-percent from the field, a number that ranks No. 2 in the country.

“We expect A&M to do what they do,” Coach Mulkey said. “They play you man-to-man. They’ll throw a 1-2-2 halfcourt at you. But when you’re trying to build a program and you have a decent team, they’re really good on the defensive end, why are you going to change anything for any team.”

Thursday’s matchup will also feature two of the top-10 rebounding teams in the country. Texas A&M grabs 48.4 rebounds per game (No. 3 in the nation) while LSU grabs 47.0 rebounds per game (No. 6 in the nation). The Aggies are the lone team in the nation ranked in the top three in scoring defense, FG% defense and rebounds per game.

Second year Texas A&M Coach Joni Taylor transformed the roster this offseason with three key transfers in Aicha Coulibaly, Endiya Rogers, Lauren Ware who have been fixtures in the starting lineup this year. Ware has eight double-doubles this season and sophomore Janiah Barker has seven. As LSU’s Aneesah Morrow has 10 and Angel Reese has seven, Texas A&M and LSU are also the only two teams that have multiple players with at least seven double-doubles this year.

“The transfer portal has made a lot of teams better a lot faster and they’re a great example of that,” Coach Mulkey said about the Aggies who went 9-20 during Coach Taylor’s first season there. “Joni has done a tremendous job in getting players that she needed.”

Texas A&M lost its SEC opener at Georgia before taking down Auburn to start conference play. LSU will be the first ranked team Texas A&M has faced.

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