Rejuvenated Tigers roar to life, overwhelm Aggies


COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Finally, some relief for LSU basketball fans.

The beleaguered Bayou Bengals got one of their top guns back from injury, reunited with a successful starting lineup, just in time for a visit to their agony antidote, the Texas A&M Aggies. The result was not unpredictable.

For the 10th straight time, the visiting Tigers toppled the Aggies, this time by 76-68, ending a three-game skid and perhaps marking a turning point in a stretch where LSU has lost six of eight. The only two wins: Texas A&M. LSU was ranked 12th nationally. Now, they’re out of the Top 25.

Perhaps a better indication of a turnaround will come at home when LSU hosts Mississippi State Saturday and Georgia next Wednesday. But unlike the first meeting with A&M, Tuesday’s rematch revealed some encouraging signs for the Tigers (17-7, 5-6 SEC).

Topping the list: point guard Xavier Pinson was back and sparked a starting five (Brandon Murray, Mwani Wilkinson, Darius Days and Efton Reid) that is 15-0.

Sharp shooting provided a spark. LSU made 7 of 10 behind the 3-point arc by halftime and sank 54 percent overall, ending the half on a 25-5 run into a commanding 36-16 advantage.

The Aggies (15-9, 4-7) never got closer than eight points afterward, losing their seventh in a row, the program’s worst stretch since 2004.

LSU’s Tari Eason came off the bench with 25 points and 12 rebounds.

Coach Will Wade notched his 100th career win at LSU.

Photo of Tari Eason courtesy LSU ATHLETICS