Texas A&M men’s basketball put up the first three points in its matchup with LSU, but never led for the rest of the game.
After junior guard Jay Jay Chandler kicked things off with a three-pointer, LSU senior guard Skylar Mays tied the game with a three-pointer of his own. The Tigers quickly pushed the game out of the Aggies’ hands as LSU went on a 13-3 scoring run to take a 28-20 lead at halftime.
Chandler got the start for the first time since A&M’s matchup with Texas Southern on Dec. 20, in place of junior guard Quenton Jackson.
Chandler’s first points were his only points of the day in his 16 minutes of playing time. He went 1-of-4 from the field, including 1-of-3 from behind the arc with one rebound and two assists.
Despite the double-digit deficit at the end of the game, the Aggies kept the game close throughout, with LSU’s highest lead being their 14-point margin of victory. In the first half, five of A&M’s eight scores came on three-pointers. While the Aggies went 5-of-13 from behind the arc in the first half, LSU went 5-of-19 for 26.3 percent.
The Aggies’ high three-pointer total was a result of their inability to score in the paint. Until the final score of the half, A&M didn’t have any points in the paint. Miller solved that with a layup 26 seconds before the intermission.
Junior guard Savion Flagg accounted for a pair of A&M’s five three-pointers in the first half, and he added three more in the second half for a team-leading 17 points to finish the game. In addition to his five three-pointers, Flagg went 6-of-8 from the field with four rebounds.
A&M continued to keep the game close in the second half, improving its field goal percentage to 50 percent, up from 30.4 percent in the first half.
The Aggies opened up the second half with their smallest deficit since the 9:25 mark of the first half as Jackson made a layup to make the score 28-22.
LSU kept the game just out of reach from that point forward, never letting its lead dip below seven points. Five three-pointers followed throughout the second half for the Tigers, with seven free throws helping widen their lead any time A&M got close.
Despite their struggles scoring in the paint in the first half, the Aggies outscored LSU in the paint 18-16 by the end of the game.
Senior forward Josh Nebo followed Flagg with 11 points but led A&M with nine rebounds, six on defense and three on offense.
Battling with a knee injury during the game, Jackson finished with five points, three rebounds and an assist.
With the loss, the Aggies are back at .500 for the season with 14 wins and losses. A&M will next travel to Auburn to take on the No. 15 Tigers on Wednesday at 6 p.m.