Men's basketball visits LSU on 2-game win streak
Aggies locked in 7-way tie for 4th place in SEC
Published: Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Updated: Friday, February 28, 2014 00:02
Texas A&M men’s basketball will head to Baton Rouge for a tip off set for 7 p.m. Wednesday against the LSU Tigers in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.
Head coach Billy Kennedy said he likes where his team’s mindset is and said the players are playing a lot better, especially against talented clubs like LSU and Tennessee.
“We played really well on the road against Georgia and Vanderbilt,” Kennedy said. “We just have to finish the last five minutes. You have to be in the game and make plays down the stretch. Hopefully we’ll be in a position to finish the game off and give ourselves the win.”
The Aggies (16-11, 7-7 SEC) are coming off of a 68-65 overtime win against Tennessee on Saturday, where sophomore forward Antwan Space hit a game winner with 2.4 seconds left. Junior Jamal Jones and sophomore Alex Caruso each had 14-point performances. Jones averages 15.8 points per game in league play, while Caruso remains the SEC leader in assists (125) and assists per game (4.6) for the season.
In the previous matchup between A&M and LSU (16-10, 7-7 SEC), the Aggies took the win 83-73 on Feb. 12 in Reed Arena. Despite having four players scoring in double figures and Shavon Coleman having a game-high 21 points, the Tigers couldn’t pull out in front. Junior forward Kourtney Roberson had a double-double, scoring 12 points and grabbing 10 rebounds, while Jamal Jones scored a team-high 19 points, 15 of which came from three-point shots.
LSU lost Saturday to Kentucky in overtime, 77-76, due to a put-back layup by freshman Julius Randle with four seconds left. Johnny O’Bryant III, the LSU leading scorer, posted a 20-point and 12-rebound performance for the Tigers.
On offense, LSU ranks third in scoring and second in rebounds, while the Aggies are in last in both statistics. On defense, the Tigers rank second in the SEC in both steals and blocks per game.
Texas A&M is on a two- game winning streak but is 1-6 on the road in conference play. LSU leads the all-time series with A&M 15-12.
“[The game film] will help out a lot because we already know their personnel,” Roberson said. “We just have to do what we did when we played them at home a few weeks ago.”
The Aggies enter the final two weeks of conference play in a seven-way tie for fourth place in the SEC with LSU, Vanderbilt, Tennessee, Arkansas, Ole Miss and Missouri.
“It’s very important [to get the fourth seed],” Space said. “I think seven teams are tied for .500 in conference, so we can either end the season tenth or fourth. We’re trying to do whatever we can to be fourth, so we can have a bye in the tournament and have an easier route to the NCAA tournament.”
The Aggies return home for a matchup against the Ole Miss Rebels at 5 p.m. Saturday in Reed Arena.