Tigers fall in Houston

The LSU Tigers made a late surge at the Texas A&M Aggies in the second half but A&M was able to make free throws down the stretch to come away with a 72-61 win over previously undefeated LSU Saturday afternoon in the second half of the H-Town Holiday Shootout at the Toyota Center.

Marcus Thornton hit for double figures for the fifth consecutive game with 23 points, while Tasmin Mitchell was able to score inside for 16 points. Bo Spencer, despite playing with a bothersome left shoulder, had eight points and five assists.


Josh Carter had 19 points, hitting 11-of-13 free throws, for the Aggies with Bryan Davis getting 16 and Donald Sloan 11.


The Tigers had their only lead at 2-0 before A&M was able to get out to a seven point advantage that held up for a good portion of the first half. LSU was able to get it to one point, 17-16, on buckets by Thornton and Mitchell before a 6-0 A&M run got it back to seven, 23-16, at the 6:29 mark. A&M lead at the half by three, 30-27.


In the second half, foul trouble began to slowly chip into the LSU attack and allow A&M to be able to have a more free hand inside. For the game LSU was whistled for 23 fouls to 15 and A&M shot 30 free throws, making 22, while LSU was just 7-of-12 from the line. As listed above, one A&M player shot more free throws than the LSU team.


But in a building that had an NCAA Tournament atmosphere with lots of fans for all the teams involved (Michigan State beat Texas in the opener), LSU played hard and with determination, as two free throws by Temple cut the margin to 34-33 at the 16:41 mark.


Inside though, A&M (the first team to out rebound LSU) was getting buckets and eventually moved the lead to its biggest advantage, 49-37, with 11 minutes to play. Still down nine with six minutes to go, the Tigers again asserted themselves, cutting a six-point lead to four on a Thornton bucket,  and then to two, 59-57, with 3:07 to play on a spectacular driving extended layup by Thornton that left the LSU senior on the floor with cramps.


Thornton had to come out of the game and LSU was unable to sustain the momentum as David hit two buckets in the paint to increase it to six, 63-57, with 1:43 to play and LSU missed four free throws and A&M made free throws to ice it.


LSU quickly returns to action Monday night at 7 p.m. against McNeese State in a game televised on CST HD and broadcast on the LSU Sports Radio Network.


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