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February 26, 2014

Rewind: LSU 68, Texas A&M 49

Jarell Martin matched his season-high with 20 points as LSU returned to the PMAC to take a 68-49 victory against Texas A&M on Wednesday night.

After getting off to a sluggish start in which it fell behind by eight points, LSU held Texas A&M scoreless for a ten-minute span of the first half. The Tigers scored 21 points during that stretch to take a 28-15 lead. LSU made three 3-pointers in that time - two by Martin and one by Andre Stringer. Both Johnny O'Bryant and Jordan Mickey made a pair of field goals. Baskets by Shavon Coleman and Stringer produced the other four points. Stringer's two-point field goal wrapped up the 21-0 run. The Aggies missed nine field goal attempts and committed three turnovers in that stretch.

LSU had an opportunity to put the Aggies away before halftime. However, Texas A&M held the Tigers to two points - a pair of O'Bryant foul shots - in the last three minutes. After Alex Caruso ended the Aggies' ten-minute scoring drought with a field goal, they tacked on seven more points before the end of the half. Backups Jordan Green and Dylan Johns made field goals sandwiched around a 3-pointer by Jamal Jones. Thanks to that late spurt, Texas A&M went into halftime trailing 30-24.

Texas A&M quickly cut its halftime deficit in half. Three free throws - one by Kourtney Roberson and two by Antwan Space - left the Aggies behind 30-27 with 17:37 remaining in the game. However, LSU stopped the Texas A&M rally at that point as it went on an 11-2 run. Baskets by Coleman and Mickey started the outburst. Then, Martin scored the Tigers' next seven points on a 3-pointer, a two-point field goal and two foul shots. That spurt put LSU on top 41-29 with 13:41 remaining. The Aggies trailed by no fewer than ten points the rest of the game. The Tigers' largest lead was 22 points at 68-46.

For the second time in three games, Martin scored 20 points. He also scored 20 in LSU's victory against Mississippi State last Wednesday. Martin was 7-of-9 from the field, including 4-of-5 on 3-pointers. His 7-of-9 shooting performance was his best since the game at South Carolina where he was 5-of-6. Martin's four three-pointers was a season-high. He had not made more than two treys in any game this season. Martin also contributed seven rebounds.

Stringer reached double figures in scoring for the fourth consecutive game with 11 points. Stringer was 4-of-9 from the field, including 3-of-7 on 3-pointers. He has made three treys in three of the last four games. Stringer also registered three assists and one steal. The one steal gave Stringer 127 for his career. He broke a tie with Brian Beshara for 16th place on the school's all-time list.

When the Tigers got off to a slow start, O'Bryant was the player who displayed the most energy on the floor. He nearly had a double-double with 15 points and nine rebounds. He was 6-of-12 from the field and 3-of-6 at the foul line. O'Bryant was guilty of just one turnover. He now has 1,051 career points. O'Bryant moved past John Williams into 38th place on the school's all-time scoring list.

LSU shot 49 percent from the field (26-of-53), including 45 percent on 3-pointers (9-of-20). Meanwhile, Texas A&M made just 31 percent of its field goal attempts (16-of-52), including 24 percent on 3-pointers (4-of-17). The Aggies had made ten 3-pointers in their victory against LSU in College Station. The Tigers had a comfortable margin on the boards, 41-31. LSU had 18 assists and just 12 turnovers. The 49 points scored by the Aggies were the fewest the Tigers have allowed in a game this season. The last time LSU gave up fewer points came in a 64-46 victory at South Carolina last season.

LSU started the same lineup for the ninth straight game - O'Bryant and Mickey in the post, Coleman and Martin on the wings and Anthony Hickey at point guard. Tim Quarterman, who missed the Kentucky game because of a death in his family, was back in uniform. He played nine minutes . .Mickey blocked five shots - his most since he had six against Arkansas 3 weeks ago. Mickey contributed eight points and six rebounds. That was just the fourth time this season Mickey failed to score in double figures. . .Hickey only two scored two points - on free throws with 3:05 remaining in the game. He took one shot from the field - a 3-pointer. For the second straight game, Hickey handed out a career-high eight assists. He did have a season-high four turnovers. . .Coleman was very active on the offensive end as he took 12 shots - as many as O'Bryant. However, he made just four of those shots. Coleman missed four of his attempts from behind the 3-point line. Coleman had four assists and four rebounds. . .The only other bench to player to score other than Stringer was Darcy Malone, who made a 3-pointer in the final minute. . .Green was the lone Aggies player in double-figure scoring with 12 points. Jones missed eight of his ten field goal attempts and finished with seven points. Caruso had seven points, five assists and five steals. . .Neither team got into the bonus in the first half. Texas A&M committed six fouls, while LSU was called for just two. . .LSU is 17-10 overall, 8-7 in the SEC. The Tigers are tied with Tennessee and Ole Miss for fourth place in the conference standings. The Aggies are 16-12 overall, 7-8 in the SEC. Texas A&M is tied with Vanderbilt and Missouri for eighth place. . .The victory was the seventh in a row at home for LSU. Its lone SEC defeat came in the opener against Tennessee. . .The paid attendance was 7,689. The actual crowd was about 4,100.


Coach Johnny Jones
"One of the main concerns for our guys was how they would bounce back from an emotional game Saturday (at Kentucky). They answered tonight in great fashion. We did a great job defending on the perimeter. Inside we challenged them and made sure we didn't give up driving lanes. We rebounded the ball extremely well and we were patient against a very good defensive basketball team."

"We didn't do a great job of talking (on defense) at the start of the game. We had a little switch at the top and both guys were guarding one guy. That guy pulled up and knocked down a 3. As the game progressed, we got into the flow. We made a nice run. Once we got ahead, our guys settled down and played within themselves."

Jarell Martin
"When we go out there on defense, we have to have that edge on our shoulder when it comes to containing guys. We have to go out there and be vocal. My increased scoring is all about my coming into the game mentally prepared. I let the game come to me. I do not play selfish and I try not to force anything. My teammates are really unselfish. They shared the ball really well and found me when I was wide open. I have confidence in myself to knock down shots and get to the basket. After we lost to Texas A&M the last time, we definitely wanted to come out and make a statement. We wanted to hit them hard and win the game."

Jordan Mickey
"Jarell came up big tonight. He was able to score a lot of points and he had some good defensive stops for us. We were able to stay in front of our guys. When guys did get beat, we helped in the right way and limited them to one shot. The communication was definitely better. We were talking on screens, back cuts, everything. I was able to give my team some good defensive blocks. I helped take away some shots for us."

LSU will play Florida at the O'Connell Center in Gainesville on Saturday at 3 p.m. The Gators (26-2, 15-0) defeated Vanderbilt 57-54 on Tuesday to clinch a tie for the Southeastern Conference title. The LSU-Florida game will be broadcast on CBS.



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