Tigers Go Down in Flames 79-53

COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- LSU tried to stay with the 10th-ranked Texas A&M Aggies for 20 minutes before the lack of numbers and poor second half shooting allowed the Aggies to cost to a 79-53 win before over 12,000 at the Reed Arena here Saturday.

The Tigers start a new season Wednesday night when Southeastern Conference play begins at 7 p.m. as Mississippi State comes to the Maravich Assembly Center. Tickets will be available online at www.LSUsports.net and the LSU ticket office will reopen on Wednesday for ticket sales.

The Aggies (14-1) are off to their best start since the 1920s led by Donald Sloan's 17 points over the injury-riddled Tigers.

It's the second-best start in school history and the first time the Aggies have been 14-1 since the 1921-22 season. The season before that was the only time LSU won in College Station, though the Tigers have beaten A&M the past two years, including a one-point thriller in the 2006 NCAA tournament.

This time it was Texas A&M that controlled the game from start to finish, jumping out to a 9-0 lead and maintaining a margin of 20 points or more throughout most of the second half.

LSU (7-7), which was has been missing Tasmin Mitchell and Quintin Thornton due to injuries, played its first game without center Chris Johnson, who broke a bone in his hand Wednesday.

The Tigers, who lost their third straight, were also without Dameon Mason, who didn't make the trip because of academic commitments.

LSU was led by Anthony Randolph with 16 points, seven rebounds and two blocks.

The Aggies led by 15 at halftime and quickly built their lead to 48-28 thanks to five quick points by Josh Carter to start the second half. Carter finished with 13 points.

Early in the second half, Sloan got the crowd worked up when he took a pass and drove the length of the court through three LSU defenders and hit an off-balance layup that made it 50-28.

Sloan had another highlight when he juked a defender in the lane and finished with a layup that pushed A&M's lead to 30 points with about eight minutes left.

Aggies coach Mark Turgeon sat most of his starters for the rest of the game.

LSU's tough night was perhaps summed up best by an attempted dunk by Randolph late in the game. It bounced off the rim while he was fouled and sent crashing to the court clutching his leg. He was able to get up and made his second free throw to make the score 73-49.

Texas A&M was ahead 9-0 before LSU got on the board with a jumper by Terry Martin with about 16 minutes left in the first half. A basket by Chinemelu Elonu made it 32-17 later in the half before a 3-pointer by Garrett Temple and a basket by Garrett Green cut A&M's lead to 10.

The Aggies outscored LSU 11-6 in the last minutes of the first half to push their lead to 43-28 at halftime.

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