LSU hoping to flex its defense and physicality against Texas A&M again on Saturday at the PMAC in early-season SEC rematch

Jalen Cook vs Texas A&M
Jalen Cook's affect on LSU's transformation into a team that can more than compete in the SEC appeared to rise to a new level on Saturday night as he and Jordan Wright combined to lead the Tigers to a 68-53 upset over highly-favored Texas A&M. PHOTO by LSU Athletics

LSU, fresh off a solid 89-80 win over No. 22 Ole Miss on Wednesday night, looks to keep its momentum going on Saturday against Texas A&M in a quick-turnaround early-season SEC rematch at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.

The Tigers (11-6, 3-1 SEC) and Aggies (10-7, 1-3) will tip off just after 3 p.m. and tickets are on sale online at LSUTix.net and will be available on game day starting at 2 p.m. at the upper concourse ticket windows of the Maravich Center. LSU students will be admitted free with a valid ID and the first 1,000 students will receive an LSU Basketball T-shirt.

The LSU Tiger Girls will perform their national championship winning Hip-Hop routine at halftime.

The Voice of the Tigers Chris Blair and former head coach John Brady will call the game on the affiliates of the LSU Sports Radio Network (Guaranty Media flagship Eagle 98.1 FM in Baton Rouge) and the telecast will be on ESPNU with Tom Hart and Dane Bradshaw.

Only two weeks ago (Jan. 6), LSU opened SEC play against Texas A&M in College Station and pulled off the upset, beating the Aggies, 68-53, in a physical game where the Tigers outrebounded the nation’s No. 1 offensive rebounding team and held the Aggies to 18% in 3-point shooting.

Jordan Wright led LSU with 20 points and 10 rebounds, while Jalen Cook had 13 points in the SEC opener for both teams.

LSU shot 40.3 percent from the floor in the game (27-of-67), had six three-pointers and was 8-of-11 at the free throw line.

Wade Taylor IV, who had 41 against Arkansas on the road on Tuesday in a last-second 78-77 loss, led A&M with 23 points and six steals, while Tyrece Raford had 11. Texas A&M shot 25.4 percent (15-of-59) with five three-pointers and 18-of-26 at the free throw line.

LSU out-rebounded A&M, 46-40, with a 36-20 advantage in points in the paint and an 18-3 mark in second chance points.

“We are excited for this opportunity (Saturday) against a really great Texas A&M team,” said LSU Coach Matt McMahon.

“Quick turnaround having just played them two weeks ago. Number one offensive rebounding team in the country, they do a terrific job taking care of the basketball and getting to the free throw line. Defensively they are fantastic in disguising their coverages and that makes it really difficult to score on that end of the floor. I expect a great crowd, great energy and hopefully we can keep improving and build on the great win we had on Wednesday night against Ole Miss.”

LSU had a 9-0 run in the last few seconds of the first half and the first minute of the second half that allowed them to take the lead for good against The Rebels and build as much as a 16-point second half lead.

Wright had a 4X5 game against Ole Miss – 27 points, seven rebounds, five assists and seven steals – to lead LSU, while Cook had 16 points. Tyrell Ward, with three 3s, had 11 points and Mike Williams III scored 10.

When asked about the play of his backcourt in Friday’s media session, McMahon said he likes what he’s been seeing lately.

“I like the way our backcourt has been playing. They have been playing well together. I really thought our perimeter defense was good against Ole Miss’ talented guards on Wednesday. We know (Tyrece) Radford and (Wade) Taylor IV are as good of a backcourt combo as there is in the country, so that will be important coming in.

“I think the story is kind of the same for us, we have taken care of the basketball, we’ve been pretty efficient on the offensive end, we’ve turned it over too much in our last two games and that has cost us some; then defensively we’ve sent our opponent to the free throw line way too much over the last two games. That’s one of the main strengths of Texas A&M, so we will have to do a better job there. Overall, really pleased with the chemistry of our guards and how well they have been playing together.”

This will be LSU’s last home game for two weeks as the Tigers play on the road at Georgia and Alabama next week and have a bye date before playing at home again on Feb. 3 against Arkansas.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*


ninety two − = ninety one