BATON ROUGE, La.--Texas A&M saw its win streak come to an end Wednesday night, falling to LSU 68-49 at the Maravich Assembly Center.
Jarell Martin scored 20 points on 7-of-9 shooting, Johnny O'Bryant III scored 15 and Andre Stringer added 11 points as LSU (17-10, 8-7 Southeastern Conference) won its seventh straight at home and improved to 13-2 in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.
The Aggies (16-12, 7-8), who beat LSU in the teams' previous meeting in College Station, came into the game shooting a league-worst 40.7 percent in SEC games and fared even worse than that at LSU, shooting 30.8 percent (16 for 52).
Part of the Aggies' problem stemmed from the defensive play of 6-foot-8 LSU freshman Jordan Mickey , who blocked five shots.
Jordan Green led the Aggies with 12 points.
LSU 68, Texas A&M 49
February 26, 2014 ● Maravich Center
TEAM RECORDS & SERIES NOTES
● Texas A&M fell to 16-12 on the season with a 7-8 record in SEC play after the 68-49 loss to LSU on Wednesday night at the Maravich Center in Baton Rouge.
● The all-time series now stands at 16-12 in favor of LSU with the two teams splitting a pair of regular season meetings this year.
● Texas A&M shot 30.8 percent (16-for-52) for the game while LSU made 49.1 percent of its shots (26-of-53) … Additionally, the Tigers made 9-of-20 3-point attempts (45%) with six 3’s in the second half.
● The Maroon & White used the starting line-up combination of Alex Caruso, Fabyon Harris, Jamal Jones, Antwan Space and Kourtney Roberson for the first time this season.
● Junior Jordan Green led the Aggies with 12 points, reaching double-digits in scoring for the fifth time this year.
● Sophomore Alex Caruso distributed five assists in the contest, while junior Kourtney Roberson contributed nine points with a team-high eight rebounds.
● Junior Don Thomas scored his first point as an Aggie, making a free throw in the game’s final minute.
● A&M head coach Billy Kennedy is now 48-45 in his third season at Texas A&M and 259-224 in 16 years as a head coach.
● The Aggies return to Reed Arena this weekend when they host Ole Miss on Saturday in an important late-season SEC match-up ... The game is slated to tip-off at 5 p.m. and will be televised by FSN.
TEXAS A&M COACH QUOTES
“At the beginning of the game, we moved the ball and had opportunities to score and make some shots. Then, we just couldn’t score. You’ve got to give LSU’s defense some credit, they played us all man. We thought we were going to see a lot of zone. Jamal (Jones) couldn’t get it going. Jarell Martin is a McDonald’s All-American, and he played like it. It was the biggest difference in the game.”
On the difference of his team’s play after LSU’s 21-0 stretch…
“I just thought we missed some shots. We only shot two free throws. We didn’t turn it over. We tried to go at them inside, and we just couldn’t score. I would have to really look at it, but there was one stretch where no matter who we put in the game, we couldn’t score. I thought LSU’s length and size really gave us problems.”
On playing poorly on the road…
“Well the first 25 to 30 minutes, it was a four-point game. We were in the game, and then Jarell Martin exploded on us. He scored nine straight points, and Jamal struggled guarding him. We had to double and help on Johnny O’Bryant III so much that it left them open on the perimeter. They scored nine straight points. Then that blew up to 12, 13, and then we were playing catch up. We’re not a good team to have to press and play catch up. But I think the key stretch was when we had some turnovers against their press and got them right back in the game. That got them going and I thought that was the biggest thing.”
On Jarell Martin’s play…
“We had to help on O’Bryant so much. I think we were digging off and trying to help on O’Bryant so Jarell was just spotting up and shooting three’s. I think he had four three’s in the second half. He made shots.”
On postseason expectations…
“Yeah, we’ve got to get to where we are playing better offensively. We’ve got to bounce back because Ole Miss can score points. Teams that can score and out athlete us give us problems. If we can’t control the game, we have problems. We’ve got to get back to scoring off of our defense a little bit and just playing with more confidence. I was telling guys to shoot when they’re open, and you shouldn’t have to tell a basketball team to shoot. As far as postseason play, I’ve said it all along that we’ve just got to keep trying to get better every day. We played good for about 25 minutes but there was a 10 minute stretch where LSU just dominated us on both ends of the floor.”
TEXAS A&M PLAYER QUOTES
G Jordan Green
On LSU’s first-half run…
“It was frustrating. We went away from our game plan of scoring early or scoring late. We started taking quicker shots that were out of rhythm. That put the pressure on the guys that started the game, because the guys that came off the bench were taking some illegitimate shots. We were trying to get it going and started thinking too much. It was tough because they were getting second-chance shots and we allowed them to. We weren’t getting any of ours on our side. It was frustrating, but I think we will improve.”
On difference in shooting when home and away…
“I think the experience factor. For a lot of guys this was their first time in this arena. I think we are thinking too much and trying to get the best shot. Guys just need to be comfortable. I think I can chalk it up to experience because we are a good-shooting team as you see at home. We have shot well on some away trips, but I think you can chalk it up to experience.”
On whether LSU’s man defense caught them off guard…
“It did a little bit. The first half of the season we were moving the ball really well against man (defense) running our base offense. We are comfortable in man (defense). We were expecting them to go zone but I think we got away from what we wanted to do. The man was fine; we just missed a lot of “bunnies” like coach said. We tried to force it too much and overthink the game and not let it just come to us.”