Men's Basketball Falls to Texas A&M, 85-73

Brandon Sampson in pre-game intros before scoring 21 points against A&M Saturday.
Brandon Sampson in pre-game intros before scoring 21 points against A&M Saturday.
Steve Franz
Kent Lowe (@LSUkent)
Kent Lowe (@LSUkent)
Communications Sr. Associate


BATON ROUGE – Four LSU players scored in double figures but the Tigers were unable to sustain an early lead, falling to Texas A&M, 85-73, Saturday night in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.

The Tigers fall to 9-13 overall and 1-9 in the Southeastern Conference heading into a Tuesday game at Rupp Arena against Kentucky. Texas A&M is now 12-10 and 4-6 in the SEC.

Brandon Sampson posted the third 20-point game of his season with 21 points on 5-of-10 shooting with two treys and for the second time this season, he was a perfect 9-of-9 from the free throw line.

Duop Reath had a season high 16 rebounds to go with 16 points as he was 7-of-15 from the field with two treys. Wayde Sims had 15 points and eight boards on 7-of-11 shooting with 1 trey and Skylar Mays had 12 points on 3-of-6 shooting with two treys and 4-of-4 free throws.

Ironically, Sampson and Mays were the only two Tigers to get to the line and LSU was 13-of-13 for the game. The last time LSU was perfect at the free throw line was almost five years ago on Feb. 8, 2012 when LSU was 10-of-10 at the stripe.

Five A&M players were in double figures led by Admon Gilder 20 points and five assists. Robert Williams added 18, JC Hampton 15, DJ Hogg 11 and Tyler Davis 10.

Texas A&M shot 46 percent for the game (29-of-63) with eight made threes and 19-of-26 at the line. LSU was 45.6 percent for the game (26-of-57), but hit 15-of-27 shots in the second half (55.6%) and 5-of-9 from the arc. All 13 free throws made came in the second half.

LSU out rebounded the Aggies, 36-34, but the Aggies had a 17-6 advantage in points off turnovers as LSU turned the ball over 17 times to just eight for A&M.

The Tigers could have used some of the 55 percent shooting in the first half when they were able to get a little control of the game offensively running their game plan efficiently in building up an 11-4 lead after 5 ½ minutes of the first half. But A&M hit two consecutive three-pointers to cut the LSU lead to 11-10.

A&M took the lead for good at the 8:39 mark, at 19-17 on a Gilder layup at 9:39 in the half. The Aggies outscored LSU, 28-14, in the final 14 minutes of the half and Texas A&M led at intermission, 32-25. LSU made just 11-of-30 field goals (36.7%) in the first half.

The Aggies were able to pound the ball inside on LSU a good bit of the second half and LSU was only able to get the lead down to seven in the opening minutes of the half as both teams scored and shot well in the final 20 minutes with Texas A&M outscoring LSU, 51-48.


Opening statement …
“Obviously, it was another tough night for us with the way the game ended. I thought our guys did a good job of having two really good days of practice, in terms of preparation for this game. I thought we got off to a good start tonight, and unfortunately, we did not do what was necessary to sustain the effort, focus and everything that we had early on. I know, obviously, what it has to do with, the youthfulness on the team. Those are areas that we continue to not be as effective, but at least these guys are trying and at least putting forth the effort. They continue to battle back there late in the game, as well. After getting a substantial lead, we got away from some of the things that we were doing, which I thought, created the environment for us to get the lead. However, when we did not make some scores and went scoreless, that’s when (Texas A&M was) able to catch up. It was effective. It was an uphill battle for us from there.”

On the offensive differences early against Texas A&M …
“Early when we started off our offense, we were running the weave. We were getting into the clock a little bit, and I thought we executed at a good level. We had good looks. We had good shots. When we didn’t and shots didn’t go down, we were effective in terms of getting back defensively and getting stops. When we tried to get a little creative after we built up a lead when things were working, we turned the ball over. (Texas A&M) had easy scoring opportunities. We failed to be able to get back defensively and allowed them to get into a rhythm. When we were back in man-to-man, we made it a little bit tougher for them to score early on. They had a hard time finding their rhythm. We helped them because we gave them some easy scoring opportunities.”


On the difference in the offense from the first half to the second half…
“We were just executing the offense. Coach told us that we broke down plays and were getting away from things that were working for us. We got back to running our offense and we got more points.”

On the new offensive look…
“It’s just a new way to initiate our plays. We have to get different looks and eventually things will start opening up if things didn't work at first. So we just did something different to initiate our plays.”

On what the focus was at the beginning of this game…
“We came out and instead of trying to match their intensity level we tried to exceed theirs. I think we did a good job of getting off to a good start. We hit shots and got a couple stops so I think we did a better job this game of getting off to a good start.”

On getting to the line this game…
“It’s been a point of emphasis with the team. We’ve been being complacent. So I just made it a little bigger goal for myself to just try to get to the line. I just tried to not be complacent and not take as many jump shots. I tried to draw more fouls than take jump shots.”


On how physical it was in the paint…
“It was physical. I just had to come aggressive today because last game I wasn't being aggressive at all. I just had to turn it round and get on the good side and be aggressive.”

Opening statement …
“It’s always good to come back to Louisiana and get a win. Thought our guys played well, and I really thought LSU came out the gate playing really well. I know they’ve struggled but they started the game with good energy. Fortunately, we were able to wear them down inside. We missed some opportunities around the basket and we started making some shots. Our defense was pretty good for us, especially during the first half.”

Quote about effectiveness with keeping the ball inside …

“We’ve got a really good front line and we spent a lot of time on just jamming it inside. They doubled us early, which has given us problems but I thought we passed out of it. Knowing that we had eight turnovers is really good for our team, but we finally made some shots. I really thought defensively, the job Admon Gilder did on (Antonio) Blakeney was a big key of us winning. That’s the thing I’m most excited about.”




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