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Basketball Rallies Past Texas A&M, 70-64

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These Tigers don’t quit

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

If there’s one thing this 2021-2022 LSU basketball team sure as hell doesn’t lack in it’s guts.

The #19 Tigers (16-4, 4-4) snapped a three-game losing skid inside the friendly confines of the PMAC Wednesday night with a 70-64 win over Texas A&M (15-5, 4-3).

LSU was without Xavier Pinson for the fifth straight game; they would also be without Darius Days; and if all that wasn’t enough, Tari Eason left the game after what Will Wade said afterwards were cramps. It wouldn’t matter because when LSU says next man up, they mean next man up.

Wednesday night it was Brandon Murray who led the way in scoring and Eric Gaines who did a little bit of everything. Murray scored a season high 21 points, including three three-pointers and a perfect 6-6 from the free throw line. Gaines scored 16 points and was a menace getting to line, shooting a total of 12 free throws. He was once again a pest on the defensive end with four steals and what wound up being the game-saving block.

The Tigers ended the game on a 9-0 run over the game’s final 1:18 which was kickstarted by a MWani Wilkinson three. It was Wilkinson’s first shot all night long and it couldn’t have come at a more opportune time.

Before leaving in the second half, Tari Eason was having a quality night with 14 points and 9 rebounds. Alex Fudge gave some good effort with four points and four rebounds, and Shareef O’Neal did something his dad never did at LSU: hit a three-pointer.

Wednesday night was an ugly, disjointed, back and forth game that suits this current version of LSU. Neither team led by more than six points and there were a combined 55 free throws attempts (35-20 in favor of LSU—and they said the officials were biased against LSU!), and 36 turnovers (18 on each side). In total the lead changed hands 11 times and A&M would end up on the losing end despite leading the game for 23 minutes. You hate to see that!

More often than not a tightly contested basketball game comes down to want to and LSU out-rebounded Texas A&M 38-30 and grabbed 15 offensive rebounds. Will Wade felt that saved the day for LSU.

“I thought the offensive rebounding was the difference in the game,” Wade said. “We offensive rebounded over 50% of our misses tonight. I thought that saved us. I thought we were really, really active on the offensive glass.”

Up next the Tigers will press pause on its conference slate as LSU will head to Fort Worth on Saturday to take on TCU as part of the annual Big 12/SEC Challenge. LSU’s next conference game will be this upcoming Tuesday night as the Tigers host Ole Miss.