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A&M Powers Past LSU, 83-73

February 12, 2014
Courtesy: Texas A&M Athletics
(photo: Texas A&M Athletics)

COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) -- Jamal Jones scored 19 points as Texas A&M earned its first victory over LSU as a fellow Southeastern Conference member after jetting past the Tigers 83-73 on Wednesday night.

The Aggies (14-10, 5-6) dominated the Tigers in bench points (33-4) and points in the paint (36-26) in rallying from a 62-50 loss at Georgia on Saturday.

A&M, after making 1 of 19 3-pointers against the Bulldogs, rebounded in a big way by sinking 10 of 23 (43 percent) from the 3-point line, including 5 of 10 from Jones.

Shavon Coleman paced LSU with a game-high 21 points as the Tigers (15-8, 6-5) lost their fourth consecutive league road game, in coming off an 87-80 home win over Auburn.

A&M freshman guard Davonte Fitzgerald exited Wednesday's contest just prior to halftime with a left knee injury. He led all scorers at the time with 11 points, and had made 3-of-4 3-pointers. Fitzgerald entered the game averaging 8.4 points per game off the bench in SEC play. His knee will be further evaluated on Thursday, a team spokesman said.

The Tigers played their first game without sophomore guard Malik Morgan, who tore his right patella tendon on Saturday against Auburn and is out for the remainder of the season. Morgan, a defensive specialist, had averaged 15.5 minutes per game.

A handful of NBA scouts were on hand Wednesday to catch LSU junior forward Johnny O'Bryant III, who finished with 15 points (6 of 11 from the field) and six rebounds, along with four fouls.

While LSU still leads the all-time series 15-12, A&M defeated the Tigers for the first time as an SEC member, following two Aggies losses in 2013, their first go-round in their new league. The new SEC rivals meet again on Feb. 26 in Baton Rouge, La. On Saturday, the Tigers play at Arkansas while the Aggies visit Vanderbilt.

Postgame Notes


● Texas A&M improved to 14-10 on the season with a 5-6 record in SEC play after the 83-73 win over LSU Wednesday night at Reed Arena.
● A&M is 13-2 on its home court this season.
● The meeting was the 27th all-time between the Aggies and Tigers … The series between the schools stands in favor of LSU at 15-12, however, the Aggies own a 6-1 advantage in games played in College Station.


● The Aggies showed their depth in the contest as the A&M reserves totaled 33 points, while the Tigers’ non-starters had only four.  
● A&M owned a 36-26 advantage in points in the paint.
● The Aggies shot 48.3 percent (28-of-58) from the field, including a 52 percent clip after halftime … The Tigers, meanwhile shot 44.8 percent for the game
● A&M headed into the intermission with a 43-37 lead … Following the break, A&M continue to have the upper hand, outscoring LSU 40-36 after halftime.
● The Aggies enjoyed a 39-32 edge in rebounding.
● The Maroon & White used the starting line-up combination of Alex Caruso, Shawn Smith, Antwan Space, Jamal Jones and Kourtney Roberson for the second time this season.


● Freshman Tavario Miller enjoyed a banner night as he logged a career highs in points (9), rebounds (7) and minutes played (20).
 ● Junior Jamal Jones fell one point short of his seventh 20-point game this season, ending play with a team-best 19 … It was his 13th game of double-digit scoring this year … The guard was 5-for-10 from beyond the 3-point arc.
● With 12 points and 10 boards on the night, junior Kourtney Roberson notched his sixth career double-double, and the fourth for this season.
● Redshirt freshman Shawn Smith shared the ball well as he recorded a career-high four assists during the game.
● Despite leaving the game late in the first half with an injury, freshman Davonte Fitzgerald tied his career-high in 3-point field goals with three while notching 11 points in just nine minutes … The Atlanta, Ga., native will be revaluated in the coming days.
● A&M head coach Billy Kennedy is now 46-43 in his third season at Texas A&M and 257-222 in 16 years as a head coach.


● The Aggies are back on the road this weekend as they travel to Nashville, Tenn., to face Vanderbilt in a 12:30 p.m. contest inside Memorial Gym.

Post Game Quotes



Opening statement…
“It’s good to be home, first of all, and it’s good to see the ball go through the net. We did a good job of attacking their press. There were some open looks and we knocked them down, that was a big key. We didn’t turn the ball over against their press and give them easy baskets like we did when we played them twice last year.”

On team depth…
“Davonte Fitzgerald came on in beginning of the first half and just made some big shots against their zone causing them to get out of their zone. I thought that was a big key for us. Everybody who played for us contributed. That hasn’t always been the case but we got good performances from everyone who played tonight. It was a good team win.”

On defensive strategy…
“Early on, it was great to see Kourtney be aggressive. He set the tone inside and we wanted to take it right at Johnny O’Bryant. You could see how talented and how good he is offensively. We were able to get him out of the game in the first half. That’s been an Achilles’ heel for LSU this year. When he doesn’t play, it always helps the other team. We rebounded the ball and we did a good job defending him and bothering him.”

On Tavario Miller…
“He works on his free throw shooting and he does the right things. He battled tonight and gave us some big minutes because Kourtney was pretty much dead tired by the end of the game. It was good to have someone behind Kourtney who also plays well. He’s a tough kid and that’s what I saw in him last year when I recruited him. As a freshman, it takes him a little while to get adjusted to the speed of the game. He made all his free throws last year when I recruited him. I was glad to see that worked today. One-on-one, he does a good job. It’s just in traffic, making decisions and the speed of the game that he’s still adjusting to.”


On Tavario Miller’s performance…
“That’s what Tavario does best. He goes to the glass hard. It’s pretty hard to box him out. He did his job tonight. That’s what we need, everybody to do their part. If that happens, we will be very successful.”

On team performance…
“We are getting close to playing how we are supposed to play. We have a lot of players who can do a lot of different things. It’s starting to show, little by little, each game. We just have to improve and keep doing it. Once everybody gets on the same page and realize what they have to do for us to win, we will be tough.”

On difference in personal performance from Saturday’s game…
“Nothing really changed. Sometimes shots fall and sometimes they don’t. I just have to keep my head right and keep getting in the gym. It’s going to pay off.”


On rebounding…
“Coach has been on us all year about crashing the boards and trying to beat a team in rebounding and we did that tonight. We got 12 offensive rebounds and we scored when we got those offensive rebounds.”

On playing against LSU forward Johnny O’Bryant…
“It was during the first half when I saw O’Bryant getting it going and I had to match his energy and go back at him. When he got the two fouls in the first half I just had to attack more.”

On his big second half dunk that fired up the crowd…
“When I dunked it, it shocked me. When I get a layup like that I normally just try and lay it up. When I went up, it surprised me and I just went up and dunked it. I saw Jamal and he was just back there with an expression like, “Did he really do this?” I just turned toward the crowd. It’s just one of those moments.”


Opening statement…
“I thought we came into the game tonight against a team that was very capable. They have shown some signs this year when they have played well and they’ve had some setbacks. They came out with a sense of urgency and toughness that they needed from the start. They knocked down some threes and did a great job in the first half rebounding the basketball. They took the ball to the basket and went into halftime with the lead. I thought they were the aggressor early on and that allowed those things to happen. Late in the game they knocked down some threes. I thought they did a good job of taking care of the basketball and making the necessary plays tonight.”

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