Instant Analysis: LSU men’s basketball’s season ends in NIT opener against North Texas

LSU’s stay in the NIT lasted just one game as the fourth-seeded Tigers were ousted in their opener with an 84-77 loss on its home court to defending tournament champion North Texas.

Matt McMahon finishes his second year at the helm in Baton Rouge with a 17-16 record and moves to 31-35 overall as the head coach of LSU men’s basketball.

The first 10 minutes or so were back and forth, but LSU was in control. That changed at the eight-minute mark when North Texas began a 13-2 run to take the lead, which it wouldn’t surrender for the rest of the half.

With the Tigers shooting 11 of 31, UNT led by as many as 11 points and ultimately took a 38-30 lead to the locker room.

LSU came out of the game hot in the second half, making five of its first seven shots as it cut the Mean Green lead to four points. But it couldn’t sustain that run, and North Texas quickly regained control and stretched what was at that point a game-high 18-point lead.

The Tigers had one final rally in them, and they cut the lead down to just five in the final minute to make things interesting, but they couldn’t erase the deficit as their season came to an end.

Jordan Wright had a huge game in what was ultimately his final collegiate outing, scoring a game-high 25 points. Trae Hannibal added 15, but even shooting above 50% in the second half couldn’t get the Tigers out of the hole.

After a disappointing Year 1 for McMahon, who had to rebuild nearly the entire roster from scratch, LSU showed signs of progress in Year 2. Now, however, McMahon’s group will be expected to take another leap and compete for an NCAA Tournament bid next season.

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Story originally appeared on LSU Tigers Wire