LSU Gold

Tiger Basketball Team Falls to Texas A&M, 73-69

Jordan Wright had his second big game of the week with 15 points, 10 rebounds and six assists.

Tiger Basketball Team Falls to Texas A&M, 73-69

BATON ROUGE – Texas A&M was able to reverse the stats from the first meeting two weeks ago and it resulted in a 73-69 win over LSU Saturday afternoon at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.

In the Tigers opening SEC road win on Jan. 6, 68-53, the Tigers were able to stop the nation’s top offensive rebounding team and gain an 18-3 advantage in second half points.

Saturday, the Aggies posted a 21-6 advantage in offensive rebounds that resulted in a 27-0 advantage in second chance points as A&M rallied from a 35-33 deficit at the half.

Despite that LSU still held a 65-63 lead with 6:27 to go in the game and the game was tied at 67-67 with 4:09 to play. A&M missed two shots and LSU would miss a layup and a three pointer over the next minute.

On A&M’s next possession, the Aggies missed a jump shot for the lead but got the offensive rebounds again and Wade Taylor IV hit a three-pointer to give Texas A&M the lead for good, 70-67, at the 2:56 mark.

LSU missed a jump shot, but got a shot clock violation to get the ball back with 2:14 to go. The Tigers quickly missed a three-pointer but A&M couldn’t capitalize. LSU had a layup attempt blocked with 1:21 to play and after A&M missed the front end of the one-and-one Jalen Reed scored inside to cut it to 70-69 with 1:04.

LSU fouled Taylor with 43 seconds to play and he made two free throws with 43 seconds left. LSU missed three-point opportunities with 26 and six seconds remaining and the Aggies made two free throws for the final margin.

Jordan Wright led LSU with 15 points, 10 rebounds and six assists and just one turnover as he recorded his 15th consecutive double figure scoring game. Jalen Cook had 12 points, Mike Williams III 11 and Tyrell Ward and Jalen Reed each scored 10.

Taylor had 19 points, all in the second half to go with four assists, while Tyrece Radford scored 15, Jace Carter 13 and Andersson Garcia had 10 points and 10 boards.

LSU shot 41.7 percent for the game (25-of-60) and 11-of-34 from distance. LSU was 8-of-10 at the free throw line. The Aggies finished 26-of-69 (37.7%), 10-of-33 from the three and 11-of-20 at the free throw line.

The Aggies out rebounded LSU overall 48-34.

LSU had 15 assists on 25 baskets and just eight turnovers, while A&M had 11 assists and six turnovers. It resulted in both teams posting 10 points off turnovers.

The Tigers are now 3-2 in the SEC and 11-7 overall while A&M goes to 11-7 and 2-3 in the league.

LSU will be on the road all the coming week, traveling to Georgia on Wednesday for a 5:30 p.m. CT game in Athens and next Saturday will be in Tuscaloosa to face Alabama at 7 p.m. LSU’s next home game is on Feb. 3 against Arkansas.

LSU vs Texas A&M
January 20, 2024
LSU Coach Matt McMahon

Opening statement…
“Hard fought college basketball game. Great credit to Texas A&M for doing the things they needed to do to get the win. 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.”

On what makes Texas A&M good on the boards…
“I would say it starts with relentless effort. I am sure it is emphasized every day in everything they do. They seemed, to me at least, to be at peace that their shooting percentages are not where most teams would want and sell out to taking care of the ball and getting after it on the offensive glass. I am sure there is some sort of philosophy there in how they do it, but at the end of the day you have to have some junkyard dogs who are going to chase the ball, and that is what they did today.”

Graduate Student Guard Jordan Wright
On the final shot with 12 seconds left…
“We were trying to come off a screen and get a corner three there, but they kind of zoned it up on us. I mean, took it away. We tried to get to our second option. I could’ve driven it to the left, which would’ve been a flare on the other side. They did a really good job guarding it; hats off to them. They played their defense well and they guarded it well. We had to get a shot up there, and it’s a shot I’ve seen [Jalen] Cook make.”

On what Texas A&M changed in the final three minutes to stop LSU…
“Honestly, I think it was lack of poise on our end. I took a bad shot early in the clock when I didn’t need to. Jalen [Cook] came down, took an early one. I think as older guards, older players on this team, we have to do a better job of making sure we execute our entire set. We didn’t even allow them to run the clock. We didn’t let our play develop. We just took two early shots in the clock … As a fifth-year guy, I have to be better down the stretch there, get us into position and ultimately pick my spots better: when to attack and when to get off the ball there.”

Sophomore Forward Jalen Reed
On if the rebound disparity comes down to effort…
“Rebounding is more about effort and toughness than it is technique, skill or anything like that. So, give A&M the credit. They came in here and rebounded really well. I felt like in the second half we didn’t have an answer for them, chasing down 50-50 balls and things like that. But we’ll be back in the gym this week and get that all fixed up so this doesn’t happen again.”

On battling the effect of losing in second-chance points…
“I mean, we’ve just got to get back to work to make sure this doesn’t happen again. We can’t win if we let the other team get 27 second-chance points and we get zero. That isn’t a good representation of who we are as a team and what we do. Usually, it’s us getting to the offensive rebounds, and we didn’t really get to the boards as well this game.”

Texas A&M Head Coach Buzz Williams

On stopping LSU the last few minutes…
“I thought we did some things differently prior to the shot, which was effective. Then they started to attack those things. Coach (LSU’s Matt McMahon) is a really good coach. Their ATO (after timeout) score was good… I think initially those things were healthy for us, but then they started attacking it.”

On the chip on their shoulder from the last game and Jordan Wright…
“Well, we are 1-3 (in SEC play). They beat us from start to finish in College Station for 40 minutes. We were down two at half, but they beat us the entire game. It had been a long time since we had lost a conference game at home. Jordan Wright dominated that game. He was the Player of the Year in the SEC in our game. He’s still a first-team guy, and he is still in the mention for Player of the Year. He had 20 points and 10 rebounds, three of those rebounds being offensive. He averages 14 shots a game, and he is hard to guard. He can make decisions regardless of which hand he is dribbling with. He plays with such force. However, you want to handle the ball screen, however you want to guard it, he can beat you with power. Jalen Cook can beat you with speed and the bounce.”