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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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One step away
June 8, 2024

Texas A&M runs off turnover bug, runs away from LSU 92-62

Photo by Photo by: Morgan Engel

Sophomore guard Admon Gilder tied for the team high in scoring with 14 points against LSU. 

Chris Collins lobbed an alley-oop slam to Robert Williams off an in-bounds play in the opening minute of the game to give Texas A&M its first bucket of the night.

“It really kicked things off,” Collins recalled. “Got the energy going in the building.”

And that’s how the rest of the game went.

A&M (9-6, 1-3 SEC) commanded every phase of the game like a piece of King Cake, easily ending its three-game losing streak with a dominant 92-62 win over LSU (9-6, 1-3 SEC).

“In our meeting yesterday, I was pretty confident we would play well,” A&M head coach Billy Kennedy said. “Kind of got back on the winning track.”

The Aggies – who had committed 25 turnovers in each of their past two games – mostly put their ball security woes to rest, giving it away just 15 times, and limited LSU to only 13 points off their miscues.

Five Aggies scored in double-figures, led by Admon Gilder and Tonny Trocha-Morelos, who had 14 points apiece. Chris Collins and Robert Williams followed with 12 each, while D.J. Hogg added 10.

It was a block party on the corner of Olsen and Kimbrough as well, with A&M swatting away a season-high 11 LSU shots. The Tigers, on the other hand, had none.

“We were just more active, more alert,” Hogg said of the Aggies’ block numbers. “We were just at the right spot at the right time.”

A&M shot near perfect during the first ten minutes of the second half, starting 10-of-11 from the field, which pushed the Aggies’ lead to 66-38 with 11:47 left in the game – a margin that would be insurmountable for LSU to overcome.

“I knew coming in it would be tough battle for us tonight against a team whose record was indicative of the type of team that they are,” LSU head coach Johnny Jones said. “I thought [A&M] played as a team.”

For the half, the Aggies were 20-of-29 (69 percent) from the floor and scored 49 points in the final twenty minutes.

A&M was fast and furious in the first half, executing well on both ends to take a comfortable 43-27 lead into the intermission.

The Aggies missed the presence of Hogg, Gilder and Williams, who all had to sit a combined 27 minutes in the first half due to foul trouble.

The Tigers were unable to capitalize on the A&M fouls, however, going just 7-of-15 from the charity stripe, while A&M was 13-of-18.

“We had some free throw opportunities there in the first half and we missed free throws on the front end or both,” Jones added.

The A&M bench filled the shoes of its go-to players well, too, accounting for 17 first half points led by Hampton and Trocha-Morelos who had seven a piece.

“We tried to play D.J. with two fouls, but he picked up his third [in the first half],” Kennedy said. “Our bench came in and was solid for us.”

A&M made all the right moves in the opening minutes of the game. The Aggies drained four of their first seven shots while LSU started 1-of-6 from the field, giving A&M an early 10-2 advantage at the 15:14 mark.

The Aggies would continue to roll, following their hot start with a 15-3 run to extend their lead to 21-5 with 11:31 to go in the first half after a monster slam by Tavario Miller. During the stretch, the Tigers went over six minutes between made baskets, sinking just a single free throw.

“I thought our guys prepared well in practice the last couple of days and it showed in the beginning of the game,” Kennedy said. “We had really good energy.”

LSU would rebound with a scoring spurt, hitting six of their next eight shots to cut A&M’s lead to single digits with the Aggies holding a 25-16 advantage with 7:33 remaining in the half. The Tigers continued to claw their way back aided by a nearly five minute drought between field goals by A&M, trimming the lead to 27-22 with 6:38 left.

That’s as close as the Tigers would get, however, as the Aggies closed the half on a 16-5 run.

Now that the Aggies are over the hump in the win conference win column, they travel to ‘The Hump’ in their next ballgame to face a surging Mississippi State this Saturday.

“We need to build off of this,” Kennedy concluded. “We go off and play a Mississippi State team who is really talented and undefeated in conference play. Their guards are as good as any we’ve played all year.”

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