FINAL: LSU 77, Texas A&M 65
LSU 73, A&M 62 (1:58, 2nd)
Waters hit a 35-footer – what’s new? – after Edwards sunk two free throws to push LSU out ahead 13 points. Williams’ tip in made it 73-62, more points off of offensive rebounds.
LSU 68, A&M 58 (3:54, 2nd)
Waters snapped a 1:40+ scoring drought for LSU with a crafty floater before Epps scored seven straight against the Aggie zone to push LSU ahead 68-53. The Aggies then, strangely, got five points in a possession, all from Davis, who made it 68-58 after a dunk and a three-point play.
LSU 59, A&M 49 (7:44, 2nd)
A&M continued to have no answer for Reath, who reached 21 points with a lefty baby hook and a 59-45 LSU lead. More second chance points – A&M’s 19th of the night, 11 more than LSU – got Savion Flagg a dunk. Williams sunk an elbow jumper to trim the deficit to 10.
After a relatively even first 15 minutes on the glass, A&M asserted its dominance throughout the second half on the glass, grabbing 17 to LSU’s 6 after 12 minutes.
LSU 57, A&M 43 (9:56, 2nd)
Jay Jay Chandler gave the Aggies a punch off the bench, hitting a wild layup and awing 3 to reach double figures. Reath drew a charge to earn a needed stop, A&M’s 18th turnover of the game.
LSU 53, A&M 38 (11:59, 2nd)
With Davis on the bench, LSU went small, with Rachal at the 4. The Tiger offense struggled with an Aggie zone, and Williams’ dunk – more second chance points – made it 50-36. Sampson knocked down a much-needed 3, found by a Waters crosscourt dime, his 8th of the game.
LSU 50, A&M 31 (15:07, 2nd)
The Aggies looked to use second-chance points to chip away at LSU’s lead early. Williams slammed home after an offensive rebound, and Davis played tip drill until he got two free throws out of it, making one for a 41-29 LSU lead.
After a couple of poor offensive possessions and Aggie blocks at the rim, Skylar Mays stole an errant pass and drove the length of the floor, drawing a flagrant one on Davis. He hit both at the charity stripe to stop the offensive bleeding, and Reath tossed in seven straight – including a three-point play off a putback – for the Tigers to extend the lead to 50-31. Through the first media TO of the second half, he was up to 19 points.
- Didn’t see that coming. LSU dominated both ends. Waters was +15 in 17 minutes, and LSU led by 15. No shocker there.
Tremont Waters is just controlling the basketball game right now. His six assists are just a small piece of that. He's getting LSU whatever it wants offensively.
— Cody Worsham (@CodyWorsham) January 24, 2018
- What is shocking: A&M averages 45 points in the paint per game. They had 8 in the first half. Tremendous game plan by LSU, executed tremendously.
- The Tigers won the turnover battle 12 to 2.
- The lineup change worked. Onwuasor was limited by foul trouble but played very well, despite a couple of misses. Sampson responded well off the bench with 6 points, and left a couple at the line.
- Duop Reath went toe to toe with Tyler Davis and outplayed him, with 12 points and 4 boards to Davis’ 4 points and 6 boards.
1st Half Stats
HALFTIME: LSU 41, A&M 26
Davis put back a Texas A&M miss before Waters floated to Epps for a slam and a 30-20 lead. Waters would end up assisting on four straight LSU makes, including two Epps threes. Sampson flew in for a stellar putback to put LSU up 39-24, and Waters hit a pair of freebies to stretch the lead to 17. Williams knocked down a face up jumper for the final score of the half.
LSU 27, A&M 18 (3:53, 1st half)
Waters snapped the run with a nifty layup, looking fresher for the rest Wade afforded him. Reath challenged well at the rim to stop an A&M transition layup, before Waters got Sampson to the foul line with a stellar backdoor pass.
LSU’s defense stayed locked in. The Aggies shot just 29 percent heading into the final media timeout of the half, and 13 of their 21 attempts came from deep, playing perfectly into Wade’s plan to pack things in.
LSU 25, A&M 18 (5:42, 1st half)
An 8-0 Aggie run forced Will Wade into a timeout. The Tigers got off just one shot during the Aggie run, which included a T.J. Starks three that the Tigers surely didn’t plan to stop in the scouting report. Onwuasor picked up his second foul.
LSU 25, A&M 10 (7:16, 1st half)
Wayde Sims and Daryl Edwards answered back-to-back A&M threes with a layup and an off-the-bounce 3, respectively. Sampson poured in another for a 23-10 lead before Reath’s jumphook made it 25-10.
LSU turned A&M’s nine turnovers in the first 13 minutes into nine points, while the Aggies remained scoreless off the Tigers’ lone turnover.
LSU 15, A&M 7 (10:36 , 1st half)
LSU’s packed defense continued to force A&M into jumpers. Duane Wilson missed a couple open looks, but the Aggies did finally get paint touches for Williams and Davis.
Onwuasor made the most of his start with two nice plays: a fine dish to Reath for a dunk and a finish in transition traffic, before Tremont Waters picked Wilson’s pocket for a layup and a 12-4 lead. He followed up by finding Daryl Edwards, fresh off the bench, for a 3 and a 15-4 lead. Gilder hit a three to break a 9-0 LSU run.
The Tigers hung tight on the boards, trailing by just one and dead even with three second chance points.
LSU 6, Texas A&M 0 (15:48, 1st half)
LSU started the game with a turkey, with active hands leading to deflections, but neither team found the basket for 2:32, before Duop Reath sank a single free throw. He followed with a three a minute later, then Randy Onwuasor slammed home a Brandon Rachal miss for a 6-0 lead.
A&M went the entire 4:12 before the first media timeout with a bucket. LSU sagged hard off of Robert Williams and Duane Wilson – two non-shooters – to really clog the paint. The result: five A&M turnovers in 4:12.
LSU Starters: Tremont Waters, Skylar Mays, Randy Onwuasor, Aaron Epps, Duop Reath
As predicted below, Onwuasor gets the start. Wade made it pretty clear Monday he was unhappy with Brandon Sampson’s production in SEC games and pleased with Onwuasor’s play. Onwuasor is +26 in league games, best on the team; Sampson is -37, worst among rotation players.
- This lineup hasn’t played at all together in SEC play.
- It’s only played 18 possessions together all season, and it’s not been pretty, getting outscored by 41 points per 100 possessions in that limited action. (OpenLookAnalytics)
The Particulars: LSU vs. Texas A&M, 8 p.m., Pete Maravich Assembly Center, ESPNU, LSU Sports Radio Network, espn.com/watch
Records: LSU (11-7, 2-4 SEC, L3); Texas A&M (13-6, 2-5 SEC, W2)
Last Time Out: LSU won 69-68 thanks to A&M’s bad health and Tremont Waters’ big shots
- Will Wade’s never lost three conference games in a row – until now.
- He’s not fazed: “If you keep working hard, keep punching the clock, keep being about the right things, it turns. It always turns.”
- Tremont Waters is shooting just 38 percent from the field and 28 percent from 3 in the SEC.
- Wade: He’s resilient; LSU just has to get him in space.
- Look for Randy Onwuasor to start in Brandon Sampson’s place. He’s an LSU-best +26 in the league and has played just 14 minutes per game in the six SEC games.
- Will LSU go small? They’ve been better in smaller lineups, particularly with Brandon Rachal at the 4 (he’s +21 in the league, second-best on the team) but Wade has some reservations – Rachal and Wayde Sims are both shooting in the 20s from 3 this year: ““We’re like the only team in college basketball that has two small fours who can’t shoot.”
- This ain’t that A&M: The Aggies have all their guns back. Tyler Davis and Williams are the best front line in the SEC. LSU is going to have to shoot the lights out, or certainly better than they have recently.
- How will Sampson respond? Wade needs more from the junior, who scored just 3 points at Vanderbilt.
Texas A&M Stats