COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) When Kourtney Roberson was asked if he was more pleased with scoring 16 points for Texas A&M or holding LSU’S Jordan Mickey to just six, the smile that spread across his face at the mention of Mickey’s name answered the question better than any words could.
”I think the key was getting Mickey out of his game and slowing him down,” Roberson said.
Danuel House scored 20 points, including a pair of key free throws late, and Texas A&M rallied for a 68-62 win over LSU on Tuesday night.
Mickey entered the game leading the Tigers with 17.1 points and 10.8 rebounds a game. He managed just four rebounds to go with his six points in dealing with a suffocating rotation of defenders led by Roberson.
”His defense sparked it,” Texas A&M coach Billy Kennedy said. ”To limit them to 62 says a lot about what he did defensively.”
Texas A&M (18-7, 9-4 SEC) trailed by eight points with 12 minutes left before using a big run to take the lead.
Then the teams exchanged the lead several times before a three-point play by Roberson put A&M up for good, 64-61, with less than two minutes remaining.
Jarell Martin made 1 of 2 free throws for LSU before an A&M charge gave the Tigers the ball with 53.9 seconds left. Jalyn Patterson missed a jump shot in the lane and the Tigers had to foul.
House made a pair of free throws and Jalen Jones added two more to secure the win.
Martin’s 13 points led LSU (18-8, 7-6), which missed its last seven shots.
”Down the stretch, those guys made some tough plays in the end when it counted,” LSU coach Johnny Jones said. ”We just didn’t execute enough plays to get out of there with a victory.”
A 3-pointer by Tim Quarterman gave LSU a one-point lead with about 5 1/2 minutes remaining, but the Aggies scored the next three points to regain the lead at 61-59.
Martin sunk a pair of free throws with 2:31 left to tie it up before Roberson’s play.
Texas A&M used a 12-0 run to erase an eight-point deficit and take a 54-50 lead with about nine minutes remaining. House got hot to lead the Aggies in that time and scored eight points, highlighted when he drove in the lane and made a layup as he was fouled and fell hard to the ground.
The Tigers went almost 3 1/2 minutes without scoring to allow the Aggies to go on top. Josh Gray finally broke their scoring drought with a layup with 8:41 left. That was the first of six straight points for LSU to put the team up by two points.
In the first half, the Aggies led by four before using a 10-3 run to extend their lead to 21-10 with 11 1/2 minutes left. House had two 3-pointers in that span, and his second one came on an off-balance shot that swished through the net as he crashed to the court.
Jones made a free throw for A&M before the Tigers went on another run. This time they scored 10 straight points, with two 3-pointers from Quarterman, to take a 34-26 lead with about 2 1/2 minutes left in the half. The Aggies had four turnovers in less than a minute to help LSU build the lead.
LSU led 36-31 at halftime.
LSU: The Tigers lead the overall series 17-14 despite losing both games this season. … Mickey’s night snapped a streak of 11 straight games with at least 10 points.
Texas A&M: The Aggies beat LSU 67-64 in the first meeting this season. … The Aggies are 12-2 at home this season.
BLOCK PARTY: Despite his tough night, Mickey had two blocks against A&M to give him 200 in his career. He had 106 last season as a freshman to join Shaquille O’Neal as the only players in school history to block at least 100 shots in a season. He has 94 this season and, in less than two years, has the second-most career blocks in school history, trailing only O’Neal.
LSU: Hosts Florida on Saturday.
Texas A&M: Visits South Carolina on Saturday.