Recap: Texas A&M Scores Season-High in Overtime Loss to LSU
COLLEGE STATION - Buzz Williams has changed the narrative at every school he's coached. From bringing Marquette back to glory to making Virginia Tech a contender, the veteran coach has left each school better than he found it.
Texas A&M might be his toughest challenge to date following the disaster of a final season under Bill Kennedy. Williams' long-term plan might be entering the short-term process should Tuesday night mean anything. As the final buzzer sounded, 40 minutes wasn't enough to call a victory for either the Aggies or LSU.
Five more minutes were added to the clock. And although A&M perhaps gave the Tigers their toughest fight of the season, 10 points made the difference for Will Wade's squad. A Javontae Smart 3-pointer set the tone in overtime for LSU, eventually seeing them pick up the 89-85 victory in Reed Arena.
The Tigers (12-4, 4-0 SEC) scored back to back 3-pointers from Smart and Marshall Graves to tie the game at 79 near the end of regulation. Both Skylar Mays and Trenton Watford each score 19 points, leading the charge for the second straight game.
The youth movement continued for A&M as Andre Gordon surpassed him freshman trademark. The Ohio native scored 15 points for the third time in four games, draining 3-pointer with 2:27 left in the second half to give A&M a 77-71 lead. Josh Nebo led the way with 20 points and nine rebounds on the evening.
LSU jumped to a 16-point lead in the first half thanks to sharp shooting from Watford and Smart. The duo scored 24 combined points in the first 20 minutes. The Tigers also outrebounded A&M 23-13 in that span.
For A&M, one struggle had been in their shooting. That wasn't the case Tuesday evening as the Aggies would shoot a season-high 40% from the three-point line in front of their home crowd. The team made 14 3-pointers, including two from Savion Flagg to give A&M the late lead in the second half.
Since their two-game losing streak to East Tennessee State and USC, the Tigers have gone undefeated in conference play. Relying on their play behind the arc, LSU shot 48.3% in the open range, eventually leading to another victory for the Bayou Bengals.
But A&M should still hold their head for a job well done. Improving with their shots, while tallying four steals, the Aggies fought down the wire and nearly claimed victory against one of the conference's fiercest foes.
The Aggies will remain at Reed Arena for the weekend as they take on South Carolina this upcoming Saturday. The Tigers will travel to Oxford later this wee to take on Ole Miss in Oxford.