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LSU 64, Texas A&M 50

We were on the brink of turning this into a close game... until a horrid stretch of free throw shooting destroyed all hope

NCAA Basketball: Texas A&M at Louisiana State Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Here’s the quick version: We took a 3-0 lead, and we never led again. The Tigers never let the lead dip below seven in the second half.

If you missed this one, you didn’t miss much.

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I usually discuss the ebb and flow in the following paragraphs... but that didn’t exist. KenPom gave this game a “tension” rating of .08 and an “excitement” rating of 0.00. The lowest LSU expected win percentage? 84%.

Believe me — we won’t gain anything from a discussion of the way things shook out. Let’s hit the stats and get outta here.

The Stats

  • Can we shoot now? It feels like we can shoot. We casually dropped nine threes for the fourth game running (9-23; 39%).
  • The Tigers mauled us on the boards seven weeks ago, but we held our own yesterday. We barely lost the rebounding battle (33-35) and we had an 11-1 edge in second chance points.
  • Josh Nebo was a big part of that story, as you might expect. He had nine rebounds in 39 tough minutes.
  • Flagg led us in scoring with 17 points, and his torrid streak from beyond the arc continued. He was 5-6 yesterday, and he is now just outside the top ten in 3PT% in SEC play.
  • Yeezy was a bright spot off the bench. Gultekin scored seven points in twenty quality minutes, and he was a large part of why this game didn’t drift away earlier in the second half.
  • We need easy transition buckets to beat good teams on the road. In that context, our two points off turnovers (and zero fast break points) seem less than ideal. LSU did a great job taking care of the basketball, submitting a season-low four turnovers.

Overall Thoughts

We’ve talked about the “narrow path” to victory ad nauseum this season. Defense, rebounding, pace control, timely shooting, and efficient possessions. We need it all to win against our fellow teams in the middle of the pack, and we need it all to have a chance against the top tier of the SEC.

When we don’t accomplish those goals against teams like LSU on the road... this is pretty much what the game is going to look like. It obviously wasn’t a fun afternoon of basketball, but in a way this makes me appreciate our results to date. 8-8 is a pretty impressive record in that context.

Next up is a salty road trip to another top tier SEC squad.

BTHO Auburn