LSU’s trip to Texas A&M didn’t prove particularly kind Tuesday â€” especially after halftime.
The Tigers allowed a 10-0 run to the Aggies to fall, 71-57, in the matchup of the SEC’s two best records entering the evening.
Texas A&M (16-2, 6-0) remained unbeaten in league play, while LSU fell to 11-7 overall and 4-2 in SEC action.
Here are a couple takeaways from the loss…
1. Tigers prove notably stoppable in second half
LSU has excelled after halftime in many of its games thus far this season, shooting 51.3 percent from the field in second halves and outscoring opponents by a 44.9 to 39.0 margin in the process.
By comparison, the Tigers entered Tuesday shooting 43.9 percent from the field in first halves and outscoring opponents by just a 37.9 to 36.6 margin.
That trend fell flat on its face in College Station, Texas.
LSU watched a 13-for-31 (41.9 percent) first half and mere 38-34 deficit at the midway mark fade into a 9-for-28 (31.4 percent) final 20 minutes and 71-57 defeat.
The 57 points marked the Tigers’ lowest offensive output since a 57-51 win at Vanderbilt on March 6, 2014.
2. But defensive lapses hurt just as bad, if not worse
LSU couldn’t get decent shot attempts to fall at times â€” and even a great one or two late â€” but a stingy Texas A&M defense had plenty of hand in those circumstances overall.
The Aggies have allowed just 64.8 points per game, second-best in the SEC, so the Tigers couldn’t have (or shouldn’t have) expected too many easy baskets Tuesday.
But LSU’s defense gave up plenty of easy baskets throughout the night, including 42 in the paint and two or three to help fuel what proved to be a decisive second-half run.
Texas A&M center Tyler Davis and forward Jalen Jones consistently found themselves in prime scoring position in the post, but the Tigers also allowed clear driving lanes to other players at key moments as well.
3. LSU can’t afford Craig Victor in foul trouble against good teams
Part of LSU’s problem, at least against Davis and Jones, was Craig Victor’s quick foul trouble.
The sophomore forward picked up a pair of quick fouls and only played 23 minutes on the night, during several of which he had to remain extremely mindful of not picking up his next foul.
Elbert Robinson, Darcy Malone and Aaron Epps combined for four points on 2-for-7 shooting (28.6 percent), six rebounds, two turnovers and five personal fouls in 19 minutes.
Victor finished with 10 points on 4-for-9 shooting (44.4 percent), with two rebounds, one assist and no turnovers.