BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) Texas A&M’s Danuel House made LSU pay after Tigers forward Jordan Mickey lost his footing with the game in the balance.
Mickey was called for traveling when he fell after rebounding House’s missed jump shot with less than 30 seconds remaining. Then House capped his 18-point performance with a clutch jumper, a steal and two free throws, helping Texas A&M complete a 13-point comeback for its first road victory this season, 67-64 on Saturday.
”Getting a second chance, I just thought it through and said, `Have poise’ and talking to my teammates, they said, `This is what you do,”’ House said. ”I just wanted to get a clean look at the goal and just hit a shot so I could help my team.”
Jalen Jones had 18 points and nine rebounds for the Aggies (11-5, 2-2 Southeastern Conference), who held LSU to two points over the final 4:26.
”It was kind of our game plan defensively to force them to kick it and have to shoot contested 3s and fortunately they stopped making them,” Aggies coach Billy Kennedy said. ”The first half they shot the lights out and I was hoping that they couldn’t do it for two halves.”
Mickey’s late turnover spoiled an outing in which he led LSU (13-4, 2-2) with 17 points, eight rebounds and seven blocked shots. A few of his blocks were soaring swats that brought the crowd to its feet. One sent the ball past the 3-point line, leading directly to guard Josh Gray’s fast break basket.
It was nearly enough to keep LSU unbeaten at home.
”We had some unforced turnovers at the end,” Mickey lamented, ”and some bad shots.”
The Aggies took their first lead of the second half with 23 seconds left, when House’s jumper from the top of the key made it 65-64.
Gray then tried to push the ball down the floor, but was stripped by House, who corralled the loose ball, was fouled and hit both free throws.
LSU had one more chance to tie it, but Keith Hornsby’s 3-point attempt rimmed out as time expired and Aggies players stormed off their bench to exchange chest-bumps and embraces with their teammates on the floor.
”This is home for me, so it’s a special win all the way around,” said Kennedy, who grew up outside New Orleans when Pete Maravich was playing for LSU. ”For our team, it’s our first true road win of the season so that maybe takes some pressure off of us. Now we know we can win on the road.”
Jalyn Patterson scored 13 points and Jarell Martin had 12 for LSU, which took its largest lead when Gray’s layup made it 46-33 early in the second half. The lead was still in double digits when Martin’s layup made it 58-47 with 9:49 to go.
Then the Aggies tightened the game up with a 7-0 run capped by Peyton Allen’s 3 to make it 58-54. Several minutes later, the Aggies got as close as 62-61 on House’s 3 with 4:26 to go.
”We got up and started taking bad shots, and they came back,” Patterson said. ”We were pulling 3s and things like that. They were getting layups on the other end and just chipping away.”
Texas A&M: The Aggies improved to 2-12 all-time in Baton Rouge and 1-4 in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center. … Former NBA player and coach Avery Johnson, who grew up in New Orleans and played in college at Southern in Baton Rouge, attended the game. His son, Avery Johnson Jr., is a freshman reserve guard for A&M. … The Aggies entered the game 0-3 on the road this season.
LSU: The Tigers had won their first nine home games. … LSU had 17 assists on 25 made baskets.
LSU shot 50 percent in the first half (15 of 30) including 6 of 10 from 3-point range, and scored 14 straight points during a four-minute span. In the second half, LSU made only 1 of 13 3-point attempts and shot 29.4 percent (10 of 34) during the final 20 minutes.
Texas A&M hosts Missouri on Wednesday.
LSU visits Florida on Tuesday.