for this game

Davis, LSU too much to handle for Texas A&M

Dec 6, 2006 - 4:31 AM BATON ROUGE, Louisiana (Ticker) -- A slimmed-down Glen Davis is still too much of a load for most teams to handle.

Davis scored 24 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to lead No. 11 Louisiana State to a 64-52 victory over sixth-ranked Texas A&M, handing the Aggies their first loss of the season.

The game was a rematch of last season's thrilling second-round NCAA Tournament game, won by the Tigers, 58-57, on their way to the Final Four.

A 6-9 junior center, Davis dropped 35 pounds since the end of last season, but he overpowered Texas A&M (7-1), scoring 15 points in the second half, including a huge basket that quelled a late comeback.

"I never said, 'Hey, I'm going to put it on my shoulders,'" Davis said. "But that's my role for this team - to deliver when deliverance is needed. I just saw the game. I didn't rush anything. I just took my time, saw the basket and followed through. It's just practice."

Davis was at the center of every pivotal moment in the contest. His three-point play with 9 1/2 minutes left in the first half gave the Tigers a 21-16 lead and, just as significantly, drew the third foul on Aggies center Joseph Jones, sending him to the bench.

Then, with LSU (5-1) leading, 31-28, at halftime, Davis scored 11 points in a 20-10 run to start the second half that gave the Tigers a 51-38 advantage. Davis capped the spurt with a three-point play with 10:48 left.

"We didn't have an answer. He's a good player," Texas A&M coach Billy Gillispie said. "Who cares about points? You can dominate a game without scoring a lot points. When you are a real player, you demand a double-team. You demand people to make adjustments how you play. It has nothing to do with your scores."

Dameon Mason buried a 3-pointer and Tack Minor scored on a drive to push the lead to 15 points for LSU, but Texas A&M didn't fold. Trailing, 58-44, the Aggies scored eight straight points to pull within six with 3:06 remaining.

Texas A&M seemingly forced a turnover on LSU's next possession, but Davis wrested control of the ball from a defender and powered up for a layup to restore the lead to 60-52. The Aggies, who had their 14-game regular-season winning streak snapped, never scored again.

"Everybody did what they needed to do," LSU coach John Brady said. "I really thought we were great defensively throughout the game. In the second half we held them to only 24 points. We outrebounded them 35-24, and to get 11 rebounds more against an outstanding rebounding team is excellent. ... I thought it was a great team victory."

Acie Law IV, the Aggies' leading scorer, had a horrendous game, finishing with a season-low four points on 1-of-11 shooting.

"He wasn't aggressive enough. He's got to be more aggressive, but that isn't the first time that we have seen that this year," Gillispie said. "He has to change. He's got to play better than that. He's a much better player than that.

"He looked like he was more scared than anybody on the court."

With Law struggling and Jones on the bench, Texas A&M stayed in the game behind Antanas Kavaliauskas, who scored 14 of his 18 points in the first half.

His final basket of the opening 20 minutes put the Aggies in front, 26-23, with 5:29 left, but they scored just one more basket while the Tigers closed with a 6-0 run to take the 31-28 lead at the break. Tasmin Mitchell had five of those points and finished with 15 and nine rebounds.

"Some people have picked A&M to win the Big 12 and they are No. 6 in the country," Brady said. "Our team showed a lot of toughness to get the victory tonight. I thought it would be a game of toughness and I think our team grew up tonight and showed the competitiveness that I really like to see in our guys."

    --- --- -----
    TEXAS A&M (6) 28 24 52
    LSU (11) 31 33 64 FINAL

    Dec 5 11:07 PM

    TEXAS A&M (6) 28
    LSU (11) 31 HALFTIME

    Dec 5 9:57 PM